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An illuminated Alleluia!

It's not usual for us, on Easter evening, to be sitting in a café in the midst of a large city, ordering a light meal. But so it is this year, for reasons too irrelevant to relate.

The utterly un-Easter-like surroundings of fluorescent light and piped-in music jarred with the Easter lilies and incense of the morning. As we idly reflected on whether any of the diners round us had been to Divine Worship today, suddenly a few words from the otherwise indifferent 'background music' highlighted themselves in our ears:

Don't want to close my eyes,
Don't want to fall asleep,
Cause I'd miss you, baby,
—and I don't want to miss a thing.

Our immediate and bizarre thought was: 'Well, of course, and thus it was this Holy Week and this Day of Resurrection'. 'What?!' — the startled and more rationcinative side of our brain telegraphed back — 'What does Aerosmith have to do with Easter?'

What we unthinkingly understood, our mind reasoned like this: Our Lord ensured we didn't 'miss a thing' in the drama of salvation played out in the city of Jerusalem so many thousands of years ago. All, all He did and said, in the company of some of the holiest and — now and then — the most thick-headed and altogether human of men, pointed to the ending of 'His most patient life of woe'. The disciples indeed 'closed their eyes' in the Garden of Gethsemane, falling asleep, despite the agonies and anguish of their Lord nearby. They closed their eyes to what Jesus told them repeatedly during the last days of His life. They misinterpreted His words. They awaited a kingdom utterly unlike the one He promised. One denied and another betrayed. One doubted and all despaired. But still, high on that shameful cross, Our Lord ensured that we'd not miss a thing.

In our time, we still blunder and bluster, closing our eyes and so often 'missing the message' of this day, of That Life. We catch ourselves fretting more often about the state of the Anglican Communion rather than the shame of greed. Or ensnared in the latest snarky blog rather than the engaged in the work of bringing food to the hungry. It's so easy, so human, to miss the Point of It All, to which the cross points. And X marks the spot: we shouldn't miss a thing. Our Lord made certain of that. Even if we close our eyes. . .

So rejoice, no matter how dark it seems at times. Rejoice, in the face of all that breaks our hearts and wearies our spirits. Rejoice, even though the grave awaits us all.

In these great 50 days of Eastertide, rejoice, dear friends, with the living and the dead. Rejoice with all this round world and whatever lies beyond it. Rejoice, for the Lord of Life is risen and 'merrily merrily shall we live now'.

Don't miss a thing.

See you next week. And, God willing, next Eastertide.

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Last updated: 12 April 2009

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