Hallo again to all.
Once again, yet ever new, the darkness has given way to light and death, the last enemy, has been conquered.
He is risen.
No matter what, that's all that matters.
Through the most horrid of wars, through despair, through politics and pestilence, cruelty and cold indifference, no matter what rough human terrain we find ourselves in — if we can remember what we know on Easter, what we feel in our bones on this day, we shall get through.
The most senseless act of all makes sense of it all. Love turned hate in and on itself and triumphed through the power, might, and white-hot purity of God's purpose. The resurrection makes it possible to wake up every morning and vow to carry on as a Christian, with all that that means. Because after Our Lord's resurrection, everything is different. Everything matters.
The church has long wrestled with the idea that after death there will be the chance to grow in wisdom and love (sometimes called Purgatory). The Anglican church has been hesitant to pronounce on this with theological certainty. But the reluctance to map out the nature of life after death may be wiser than we know. For if we can make it all come right in some sort of spiritual gymnasium after death, we may be far more careless in this life to walk in love, as Christ loved us.
Whatever we know and whatever we don't know about the afterlife, we can rest assured that Our Lord is risen and has become the first-fruit of them that slept. His cross and passion are set 'between our sins and their reward', as the beloved hymn has it, and His resurrection foreshadows our own.
So Easter, with all its joy and hilarity, its radiance and wonder, brings with its glory a weight. Our choices, our loves, our dislikes, our delights, every act done or not done, our pettiness or generosity, kindness or cruelty, all of it — all of us — will never die.
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, and
We remember a dear friend, who died early this Easter morning. He received communion from his priest in the evening and then declined rapidly. We are confident that Tom was waiting to hear the first Alleluia of Easter before leaving us for larger life.
See you next week. And, God willing, next year, at Eastertide.
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