Here is a written version of this morning’s reflection. For the first time, the service is on FaceBook Live this morning. Three separate videos. The first is a guided (beginner friendly) mediation. The second is the final Easter children’s story. Finally, the following. We closed by ringing the churchbells at 10am in solidarity with the other Churches. It was quite moving.
Why do we have this period of waiting? If Jesus is the Son of God, why doesn’t he just walk immediately off the cross and come to life? It would certainly be more dramatic. Why this big space between Death and Rebirth?
We could say a lot about why. I’m going to focus on the disciples and their relationship here with death and rebirth. I can’t really say what’s happening with Jesus in these days, but I can guess what’s happening with the ones who will be charged with the duty of carrying on the message on Earth.
It is a time of turning inward to learn. To be reborn. To find resilience. To suffer. The suffering on the cross is echoed in the suffering of the disciples. The suffering of the cross echoes our own suffering. (we reenact ancient stories, over and over, in our own lives).
They are each facing their own demons. They are alone. Helpless. Hopeless. And wondering “what just happened?” That wasn’t part of the plan. That isn’t the way life should be. That is not how they thought the story would end.
They are human. Looking at their own failings. A lot of “what ifs…”. Turning inward. How to go on? And how to go on alone.
Inward. Dark. Alone. The stages of Grief.
These are shared experiences in life. Suffering. It’s not a misery loves company, but a: you are not alone. We are not alone.
There is a lot of suffering in this story to anchor us. The Mystery of death and how to go on? In suffering, there is growth. How to go on? What is the point? What is the purpose?
The rising of Christ is a miracle.
His is a rebirth and transformation that is all around us…although not so dramatic. It is an echo of life. Day to day life. Jesus is transformed and reborn.
The disciples are also reborn. They have had their “exam” of sorts and move from being the students to the Teachers. They are charged to pass on the Teachings. To live the teachings. To begin the lineage of teaching.
We, too, suffer and change and learn. Our lives also carry the echo of the cross and the resurrection story. We suffer to be reborn into different versions of ourselves.
We too are charged with Jesus’ message: To have courage. To be kind. To live as Jesus lived with Love and Compassion. To have Hope and be open to renewal.
As Jesus is reborn, so the flowers bloom. As the disciples are reborn, so the flowers bloom. As the flowers bloom, you too are reborn.
Close with words of Marcus Borg:
“Jesus lives. Jesus is Lord…Easter is about all of this. To reduce it to a spectacular miracle a lone time ago and a hope for an afterlife is to diminish and domesticate it. It is not about heaven, it is about the transformation of this world.”
We are one small individual human. At one point, so was Jesus, Mary, and all the disciples. What we offer back matters.