Rev. Jean Brown | Apr 17, 2019

I consider it a sacred privilege to share some Easter thoughts via this paper, however will admit that the Easter event is hard to capture in words, images, discussions and that it is more of an on-going experience for all of us. I would say that the message of Easter is much more than some mere candies, and that it is a message of hope- hope that in life, in death and in life after death we are assured of Living Accompaniment. Our living Holy One accompanies us and also challenges us as He challenged those first followers who found the tomb empty and who tried to make sense of the resurrection appearances. He challenges us in that we can never really pin him down, never really fully comprehend His message and never fully understand- even though we try. Yet, Christ makes a difference in our lives. When Mary Magdeline sees the Risen Christ and realizes who He is, Christ says to her (and to us as well) - “don't hold on to me, I haven't yet ascended to the Father”. We need to really listen up to those words. They are very significant. Christ says them to Mary Magdeline and also to us today- don't hold on, don't try to nail me down, don't think you've ever got it all figured out, for there will always be the element of surprise, or there will always be some challenging documents or some way that life will challenge or change who you are. In the same way that Mary Magdeline, after the Easter Resurrection experience, ventured forth in fear and in wonder, so too must we - and we can never pin down the power and the energy or the ideas and ideals of Jesus Christ. We can never really nail Him down to a cross and that is what Easter is all about. We might prefer to hide out and to eat a few Easter candies, but we are challenged to go with Jesus Christ in whatever direction He is leading. The real message is that the followers didn't run away, didn't keep silence, they ran to the tomb and they embraced Jesus Christ and they told the good news, and that is our mandate- to serve a risen Saviour, to tell, to believe, to be open to the Risen Christ as He appears to us today in the words of scholars, in the answers to prayers, in nature, in scripture, in dreams, and in our lives. So, as we serve a risen Saviour, we respect the many challenges, many ways of serving, ways of thinking, ways and routes to get to God and to a Higher Power, and in so doing we honour God.

Our Moderator, Rev. Richard Bott, related to this idea of honouring God, noted in his recent message, that this season is a time to think, deeply, about our relationship with God. He asks us each to consider meeting and chatting with others to explore the question, “How is it with your soul?”. He came up with this idea, noting that many talk about the weather (“how’s the weather?”) and that is important to us for sure- our churches were closed at least 4 times this winter due to weather conditions! However, our faith is also of great importance, so when we ask about the weather can we also ask- how is your soul doing, or what are you praying about, or how is your relationship going with God or how are you honouring God? Bott wonders what would happen to our faith lives if this question was asked along with questions about the weather. So, who is up for the challenge? May we indeed honour God and talk about the highs and lows, the things that bother us, and the questions that keep coming up, and the prayers that we are offering up. As Easter people may we notice answers to prayer and may we be filled with resurrection inspiration.

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