"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

He is Risen indeed, Alleluia

Today is Easter Sunday, the most important day of our Christian year, the day when Christ crucified rose from the dead, leaving an empty tomb. During the service we all went up to the cross in the centre of the church and decked it with flowers, transforming it from a stark instrument of torture into the most beautiful symbol of new life and the joy of creation.

I think this is a particularly wonderful way to celebrate the glory of the Risen Christ, but I am sure other churches have different and equally striking ideas, probably as many ideas as there are priests! I would love to hear of them.

But perhaps we need to start at the beginning. We have just come to the end of the most important and Holy Week in the Christian Church year. It started on Palm Sunday, when we commemorated Christ's entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, to cries of adulation and singing, Hosannah in the highest! We processed along the road into church waving palm crosses, not only reminding us of what happened to Jesus on that day, but also serving to praise Christ the King who reigns and triumphs on the cross. It expresses our own readiness to take up our cross and follow our crucified and risen Lord, as we go with him to the place of suffering and death.

Through the week we continued to follow Christ's journey, from his trial to his death upon the cross. On Maundy Thursday we remembered how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and we stripped out the chancel and sanctuary ready for Good Friday when we held the most solemn and simple of services around that cross, this time stark and simple and cruel. We had carried nails around with us all week, given to us on Palm Sunday, and we laid them at the foot of that cross on Good Friday, a symbol of the burdens we had carried, now left to the care of the Christ crucified. 

But then comes Easter Saturday, and that night, the time when our Lord Jesus Christ passed over from death to life, we joined Christians across the world to gather in vigil and prayer, lighting our Paschal or Easter candle from a fire in the churchyard and carrying it into the church in darkness, to light all the candles and spread that Light of the World to all the congregation and beyond.

And of course Easter would not be Easter without Easter Eggs for the youngsters and indeed for the not so young!! There were cream eggs handed out to all the children who came up to the communion rail and as if that was not enough for them, an egg hunt had been set up in the churchyard whilst the adults had their coffee and biscuit - and sneaked a few eggs as well no doubt!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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