Words of Light and Hope from Bishop Tony Foottit
There have been a lot of primroses along the church path this year. Their pale flowers reflect the first sunshine of spring. The deeper yellow at the centre reminds us of summer to come. The resurrection of Jesus was discovered at pale first light. It was only later in the morning that the disciples realised the full and glorious meaning of what had happened. It gradually dawned on them that their master and friend who had been crucified on the cross had been restored to life.
Many fairy tales such as the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are about resurrection. The prince brings the sleeping beauty back to life after 100 years. Another prince discovered that the shoe fitted Cinderella and so rescued her from her miserable existence.
But the gospels are not fairy stories. They relate clearly that Jesus died and that he rose again. His resurrection is not just a thing that happened 2,000 years ago. Nor was it imaginary. It was and is a reality. The resurrection of Jesus has made it possible for every person ever since to have a new beginning. We live in a world all too ready to glorify success, and all too prone to condemn failure. In Jesus we see someone who palpably failed and yet won the greatest battle of all time. But we must take this victory into our hearts. Harry Williams wrote a book called True Resurrection, in which he wrote: It is in this world that we find God. It is in communion with everything about us that we discover the resurrection and the life, and are made new. But our eyes must be open to perceive it. If we do perceive it, we shall experience everyday life with a new intensity, and see things in a new light.
Primroses are literally common or garden flowers. Christians should never say of anything that it is ordinary and doesn’t matter. Everything matters because of Easter. So does everyone. You don’t have to be important to make a difference. One person can make such a difference. So can one smile or word of encouragement. The humdrum will no longer be boring. To use a bit of philosophical jargon, the now is the brink of the beyond. The advertisers often make us think that our ordinary lives are very dull. They try and persuade us that some new product or experience will bring pleasure and excitement to our lives. But the only way we can live a really full and rich life is in Christ and the power of his resurrection.
Image by Laura Otýpková from Pixabay