Christ is risen
He is risen indeed.
That’s the common greeting in many of the emails and texts I’ve received over the last few days. It’s good to be reminded that this is what Easter is all about.
If there had been no mention of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels, we would not be that worse off. I’m sure of culture would have come up with another opportunity to drive our consumer society with reason to buy gifts and light our homes.
If there were no Easter, no risen Christ, then the faith we practice, as believers in Jesus’ resurrection, just wouldn’t exist. Easter is the most significant day in the Church calendar. Perhaps that’s why today is the most difficult day to be staying home and living in isolation.
But consider this. We can’t join together at College Ave but Jesus can join each of us where we are.
In John’s Gospel we read in chapter 20 that on that first day, the day of resurrection, Jesus suddenly shows up in the room where the disciples are trying to hide away from the Jewish authorities. I mentioned in an earlier reflection that He didn’t knock because He didn’t want to frighten them. None the less, they must have been shocked to see Jesus suddenly standing there.
It’s interesting to note that the first thing Jesus says is “peace be with you”. The word shalom is a common Jewish greeting. If this had happened in Canada, He might have said “hey” or “howdy” in the southern states. But no, Peace is more than the common greeting of the day, it’s the message they need to hear. It’s also the message most of us need to hear.
In an earlier discourse with His disciples Jesus elaborated by saying “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Don’t be troubled or afraid. I’m sure that’s what Jesus’ followers needed to hear and I’m sure his comments about not being troubled or afraid would have resonated in their minds.
Perhaps that’s the message many of us need to hear today. Jesus showed up in the room where they needed him the most, stood in their midst and said “PEACE”.
In Kevin and Heather’s Easter greeting, that I sent out last night, they mentioned not being able to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” It has always been my favourite Easter carol, if I can call it that.
I’m thinking that if I send you the lyrics it may get planted in your minds for the day as well. It’s an old hymn from the pen of Charles Wesley but retains a beauty in both its melody and words.
Christ the Lord is Risen Today
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the vict’ry won, Alleluia!
Jesus’ agony is o’er, Alleluia!
Darkness veils the earth no more, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!