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12 April 2020

St Peter's 13-18

12 April 2020



Anyone who has ever done either any preaching or public speaking will know of a little game that audiences like to play. It’s a game that speakers seem to either love or loathe. Just before you take to the stage, someone will set you the challenge of trying to include a particular word in what you say. It’s done with the sort of cheery smile that usually accompanies harmless naughtiness. Over the years, I have noticed that there’s one word that comes up more frequently than any other in people’s requests: can I get the word “jellyfish” into what I will say? I’ve always greeted the request by returning one smile with another and then stuck carefully to my script.

Over the last few weeks, one of the little gifts that has come from spending time at home is that I have had time to read and watch things that I wouldn’t normally get the chance for. I was watching a programme recently exploring the lives of creatures that live in the depths of our seas and was struck by the life-story of the moon jellyfish. At the end of its life, it sinks to the bottom and as the old jellyfish shrivels, polyps emerge that will eventually grow into new ones. New life begins where the old one ends. The scientists found it mind-blowing and it’s taken them into a whole new direction of study: how can this be?

This morning, as we tell afresh the story of the resurrection, it’s tempting to try to ask the same sort of questions: how can it be that early, on the first day of the week, when the women came to the tomb to anoint Jesus body, they found the tomb … empty? The answer, of course, is that we don’t know how God did it, but we rejoice that it’s true. Resurrection is the mind-blowing reality of how God works.

Christos Anesti. Alleluia! Alithos Anesti. Alelluia! Alleluia!
Christ is risen. Alleluia! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Martin Luther once wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime. The power of God is present at all places, even in the tiniest tree leaf. Do you think God is sleeping on a pillow in heaven? God is wholly present in all creation, in every corner, behind you and before you.” What I think he means is that there are signs of Easter joy in every corner of the world around us and every moment that we go through. We can be reminded of God’s power to transform lives, to create afresh and to bring us joy in all sorts of places if only we are willing to look again.

Today, may you come to know the life-changing power of Christ’s resurrection in your own life and in everything that brings you joy.

Shalom always and a very happy Easter,