Sunday, April 12, 2009


Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.
Epitaph for Helen Joy Davidman Lewis, wife of C. S. Lewis

This year, I didn't really make a big deal out of Easter. The church I attend in the mornings and which I've grown up in has always been a bit suspicious of ritual etc., being a little or a lot (depending on how you see it) anti-establishment. Not that it sees Easter as wrong; it just doesn't make a big hoohaa about it. The idea being that we should remember Jesus' death and resurrection all year round. We might mention that it's Easter in a service on Easter Sunday, and we may vaguely theme it around resurrection, and we used to have services on Good Friday combined with other churches in the area - but we don't go too overboard on it.

I also managed to get sick, so part of Friday and all of Saturday were spent either throwing up (not that you wanted to hear that) or lying in bed wishing I could just go to sleep or something.

So I hardly thought about it today. I didn't even eat Easter eggs, being in my post-sick state not really wanting to eat anything chocolatey ever again. (Don't worry - it won't last.)

Until I got to my evening church, where one of the pastors got up to welcome us all near the beginning, and said a few quick words about the fact that it's Easter, and what it means. He read the poem I've quoted above which was written by C. S. Lewis about the death of his wife.

Suddenly it dawned on me to remember what Easter means for me. Easter is not just the remembrance of a long-ago event that has been remembered and ritualised by the Christian Church for centuries. It is this:

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. ... "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:19-22, 54-57)

I thought of my mother, and how much I miss her. What hope would I have if there were no Easter? Easter is not some sort of a memorial to a dead hero. It is the living hope, passed down to we who believe today, that if Christ could be brought through death to eternal life, united with those he loves, then he can bring us through death too, uniting us with himself. Thank you, Jesus.

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