Alleluia! Christ is risen. So what?
This year, unlike any other year in our lifetimes, the reality of the resurrection may seem harder for us to grasp. As a global community we have lived the events of Lent and Holy Week like never before in the form of lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic. Here in the UK, and in many other parts of the world, we are still in that place and will be for weeks to come.
What does the reality of Christ’s resurrection and our celebration of Easter Day mean in that situation? Our situation has parallels to the experience of the first disciples. For them everything changed while, within their society, nothing apparent had changed. Through their encounter with the risen Christ they went from being frightened disciples, hiding behind locked doors afraid of the authorities, to the sharing of communion and good news, having all things in common, and care for others that characterised the Early Church in Jerusalem.
Nothing had changed in wider society at that point; the Emperor was still Roman and no one other than the disciples accepted Jesus as Messiah. Yet everything had changed for the disciples, whose encounter with the risen Christ brought the revelation that Jesus was the promised Messiah and, therefore, Lord of all; a challenge to all the powers and authorities of their day.
This change in the disciples led to the acts of sharing and caring that characterised the Early Church and, in time, through the power of Christ’s Spirit in them, wider society was impacted and changed.
That is where we are today. We celebrate resurrection at a time of continuing lockdown and isolation which our society can only see continuing at this time. In response, we need to be among those coming alongside others to be with them in their time of need. This Easter we are asked to publicly commit – through a pledge at YourNeighbour.org – to supporting our local communities, bringing a message of hope, that no-one will be alone, without the help they need, during the Covid-19 crisis.
As wider society sees the hope we have because of the resurrection motivate us to support others in every community in the here and now, the good news of resurrection will be shared and change will come. That was the experience of the first disciples. It can and will be our experience too.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
By Rev’d Jonathan Evens