There is a certain slant of light that fills the valley and each rising morning is a promise of Christ’s glorious resurrection. (Thomas Merton)
Do we wake each morning with a sense of newness? Do we see each morning as a promise of Christ’s glorious rising? Will next Sunday, Easter Sunday 2006, be different for us this year? Will we truly be able to say, from our hearts and in a sense with all our being, ‘Christ is Risen! He lives!’
I love those words of Thomas Merton, quoted above, but do we believe and live as though each rising morning is a promise for us of Christ’s glorious rising?
When we celebrate Easter every year it is sometimes difficult to make the familiar sound new. Most preachers will tell you that they struggle each year to find something different and new and inspirational to say about Easter, and about Christmas. We can become numb to the great feasts of the Church – even Easter – hence the necessity to stop and reflect, to allow ourselves to be caught up in wonder. The great G K Chesterton once said:
‘There are plenty of things to wonder at in this world, what is lacking is wonderment.’ Will you be caught up in wonderment this Easter Sunday?
The real message of Easter is this: ‘God exists!’ Pope Benedict has said that anyone who even begins to grasp this message also knows what it means to be redeemed.
The resurrection is the key that enables us to see the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as God’s work of redemption. We can talk about light, new life, rising from the dead, overcoming sin and evil, but does it make a difference to the way we live? It’s only when we see the whole of our Christian faith in the context of an empty tomb flooded with light, our every word and action, our every thought, that we will see each day as a promise of Christ’s glorious rising.
I remember one Easter Sunday when I was a seminarian, reading the response someone had written when asked to give his reasons for continuing to live as a Christian. There were wonderful inspirational lines written to ‘A Christian’s Reasons for Wanting to go on Living’. One of the lines I have carried with me for over 30 years was, ‘I go on living because every morning I wake to hear, as if for the very first time, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you”.’
That Easter Sunday Christ rose. I pray that this Easter Sunday Christ rises for you, that Easter Sunday 2006 and every morning is a promise of Christ’s glorious rising, that we will all know deep in our hearts that ‘God lives!’ that this Easter Sunday, and every morning, you will hear, as if for the very first time, ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.’
May every blessing be yours this Easter and every morning. Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
Archbishop John Dew