Easter Reflections from the Chaplain

Early on the first day of the week while it was still dark . . .

John 20:1

This is the most important few days for Christians everywhere but for many of us Holy Week this year has taken on even greater significance. Today, Good Friday, we recall the crucifixion of Jesus. A time of fear, sorrow and despair. These are words we might use to describe the world today as we all try to get used to a new way of living in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

All that was familiar and normal has now become strange and unsettling. Family members are kept apart. We are all having to get used to different ways of working, different ways of communicating and different ways of maintaining our relationships. 

On the evening of that first day of the week . . . Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

John 20: 19

When the disciples encountered the risen Christ they experienced the light of hope and love; a light that can never be extinguished by the darkness of despair.

The Easter story may well begin in the darkness of despair but it ends in the light of hope and love. Although we are all living in the darkness of the pandemic, every day we read or hear stories of the light of hope and love. Stories of the NHS workers on the frontline caring for the sick; stories of the 500,000 people who have joined the NHS volunteer campaign; stories of communities coming together to help the most vulnerable and stories of simple acts of kindness and compassion.

There is still much uncertainty about what the next few weeks and months hold for all of us. We will read about or experience ourselves much grief and suffering. But we must never let the flame of hope and love be extinguished. This is what Christians celebrate at Easter. That love is the energy that sustains the universe. That death doesn’t have the last word. That the light of hope and love is stronger, more real, more true and more pure than all the darkness and all the suffering in the world. 

We will all come through this painful period if we continue to live with our hearts open to the love of Christ who moves in the darkness bringing light to the world.

Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

John 20:20

 

Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed.

Alleluia!

 

With love and every blessing to you all;

Andrew West

Chaplain