Alleluia, Christ is Risen.
He is risen indeed Alleluia.
Amidst these unusual times we find ourselves in, it is important to hold on to the Easter mystery. The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Easter (John 20.19-31) is that of Jesus’ followers locked in behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. We too may find ourselves behind closed doors at the moment more than we find comfortable.
They weren’t waiting for Jesus, they weren’t expecting Him but still the risen Christ came and stood among them. They were fearful, hiding, afraid and whilst not all on their own some may have been – where was Thomas that first visit?
Christ is present with them though. His words, ‘Peace be with you’. Whilst we may be isolated from our wider communities, God is not bound by social distancing.
As Christians, we’ve just come through Holy Week at the end of Lent. We’ve journeyed with Christ through the pain leading to His crucifixion and come through to the joy of His rising at Easter.
Some of Jesus’ final words from the cross were “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” and, some of His first to His disciples following His resurrection “Peace be with you”.
I wonder whether, without one we can truly have the other. As we face these difficult times, whether we’re generally anxious about the situation around us or feeling the effects first-hand as we see or hear of family and friends perhaps suffering or dying, the peace we seek, the peace Christ offers all of us, comes through trusting in God’s care for us.
Though we may be alone in a house, we are not alone at this time. We are all members of one body, the church, not the building but the community. We cannot go about as we are used to in the same; how we behave as Christ to others, the acts of kindness and love, must change to suit the times we are in. For some it may be phone call to friend, for others simply a smile or wave from window or whilst on a daily walk. For all of us, we have the opportunity to share together in prayer for each other and our wider world.
Each day of term time at 08:00 morning prayer is said on campus, with and for the community of the University. Whilst we cannot meet together, the community of the University remains in new and varied ways. The service usually followed, using the Church of England order for Morning Prayer found here (https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-daily-prayer) also continues and you are welcome to share in this.
The world is changing and, whilst God does not; we have to change if we are to stay safe and keep others safe whilst at the same time strive to continue being as Christ to others and trusting in God, there to find the peace that our Lord offers.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen.
He is Risen Indeed Alleluia.