Easter reflection – by the Rev Anne Sardeson

Easter is here! Enjoy your chocolate!

I think Christmas is a bit easier to grasp than Easter – a little baby being born into a tough world is a gentler story than a man being executed by those in power and then raised the life a few days later. So it can be a hard and difficult to get our heads round it all, and the risk is that we think it’s about God making everything better, but it isn’t.

Easter is not about God sorting it all out and making things comfortable. No, it is actually about the truth of the way of God being found in the harsh stuff and the really wonderful stuff. And the truth and the way of God is troubling for us human beings who long for life to make sense and feel comfortable and be sorted out.

Who can blame us for wanting that – it is a reasonable desire. But we need to learn another way and we need to learn another truth, and we need to learn it all the time and time again, because we forget so easily and drift back to wanting it pain free and comfortable.

This truth is a great comfort to those who are suffering – for in it is the discover that pain and struggle are not a punishment or some sign of weakness but is instead the reality of life, in which God is found.

However, for those who are comfortable or at least on the edge of being comfortable, this truth is deeply unsettling because it says that such comfort is not what life is all about and is not what we need to strive for.

What Easter tells us is that pain and struggle are a part of life and that God is found to be at work in it. And more than that – God is there, in the midst of it. In the outrageous injustices, in the most hideous of pain, God is there too – redeeming it not by making everything alright, but by drawing close and saying “I am here, even when you do not believe it.”

But then God reveals something more – transformation! Transformation that we need to be looking for – even in the pain. Transformation that we need to notice time and time again. Transformation that we need to notice and welcome and embrace time and time again.

And one day all things will be made new – we will see clearer and know for sure. But for now, we journey on, with faint reflections and hazy images and uncertain hearts, but grounding ourselves in the truth that God is even here: in this week, in all these days, in this day, redeeming us and the world, if only we would notice.

Here are the words of a song I wrote for Palm Sunday a few years ago. I’ve come to realise though, that they are words for the whole of Easter, and so share them with you now for this Easter.

This week the cry goes “Hosanna” then “die”;
followers run, and one will just lie;
voices are silenced and some whisper “why?”;
but most of Jerusalem shout “crucify!”

This week the way goes from welcome to fear;
turning the tables, the end is now near.
From widow to soldier the cost becomes clear:
nothing is simple when Jesus is here.

This week it feels like the hope slips away;
falling asleep at the end of the day;
gone into hiding with nothing to say;
hangs on a cross with no words left to pray.

This week the truth of God’s grace will be known;
as words hit a nerve and money is thrown.
Strange are the ways that God’s presence is shown.
A seed in the ground dies and new life is grown.

May you know the joy and hope of God’s transforming love and grace this Easter. May it fill you with peace.

And remember – the foolishness God is wiser than the world and the weakness of God is stronger than anything that the world can throw at us.

if you want to talk about this or anything at all, send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Rev Anne, Easter 2024

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