Jesus said to (Martha), ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25,26)
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10)
In just a few days we will celebrate the marvellous promise of the Resurrection to eternal life. As a painting is enriched by the dark shadows that accentuate the light in it, so our walk through the shadowy confusion of Maundy Thursday and the deep darkness of Good Friday are essential if we are to know the joy of Easter Vigil and Easter Morning.
Only in light of the darkness of Jesus’ sacrifice, can we begin to even have the haziest understanding of the brilliance of the new life it brought to us. And only in the darkness of our own grief can we, like Martha and Mary, begin to know the depth of our longing for the promise of eternal life for those we love, but see no longer, and for ourselves.
We hold onto that promise that for those who believe in him, Jesus has transformed the closed door of death into a passageway to life everlasting. He has promised life where death has no more power and sickness and pain and loss are unknown. What a marvellous hope this is, and what a comfort in those days when our temporary separation from our loved ones propels us into the depths of grief, or the knowledge of our own mortality darkens our days.
If that were the extent of the promise brought to us by Jesus’ death and resurrection, it would be precious indeed, but the reality is that he has promised more yet! “I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” Jesus promised – not just life in the “great beyond” but eternal life now and here -eternal life that bubbles up in us like a spring of living water.
Right now, in the place where we find ourselves, in this very moment, that life is growing in us! Sometimes, like the bulbs beneath the just-thawing earth of our difficulties, we cannot see the growth but there in the rich darkness of the soil, roots are being formed and tiny green shoots are pushing towards the sunlight.
And other times, such glorious times, spring bursts forth and we feel the sunshine of God’s love warming us to the depths of our soul. And occasionally, life just moves along from day to day in blessed ordinariness. But wherever we may find ourselves, the promise of Easter is that there is meaning and value and love and peace to be had in the moments and hours of our days. Some hours will be dark and others filled with light, but they are all shot through with the precious reality of eternal life, living in us here and now.
May the promise of Easter gladden your hearts this season!
Rev. Marie Loewen
Holy Week and Easter Service Schedule:
Palm Sunday: 9:00 (BCP) and 10:30 (BAS) with blessing of the Palms
Maundy Thursday: 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday: 2:00 p.m. at St. John’s—joint service.
Easter Vigil: 7:00 p.m. at Christ Church—joint service with St. John’s and St. Brice’s.
Easter Sunday: 9:00 (BCP) and 10:30 (BAS)