New life – thank you, Colin & Hazel
WHAT A GLORIOUS Resurrection celebration we’ve shared in Bramhall today! – so many people to thank, as always, all of whom made their contribution to our Worship by way of preparation, cleaning, sprucing, hours and hours of service order preparation, Newala linking, sourcing Fair Trade Easter Eggs, (and distributing and eating them), providing transport and encouragement, music (thank you for your glorious composition, Caitlin) and other artistic gifts, drawing families and friends together, remembering the sick and the suffering, presence, prayer, puppeteering (Double Act – you’re not only lovable, you’re also a bunch of geniuses) and praise.
Surrexit Dominus Hodie. The Lord is Risen Today – in The Heart of God and in and through countless millions of witnesses to the Life of God within all of us. Yesterday and today the Word of God is “Let there be light”. And there was light, and there is light, and there will be light. That’s how it is that we’re able to wish the entire created Universe a richly happy and blessed Easter.
St John Chrysostom (c.347-407) preached a sermon, the Reverend Ann Hyde reminded us at 8am, about that great Resurrection for which Jesus of Nazareth was willing to surrender his own life that it might be forever proclaimed: that great Resurrection in which
not one dead remains in the grave.
We who shall live together in all eternity are called today and every day to begin living resurrection with every other child, woman and man upon earth NOW. And as love’s surety we’ve been given tomorrow’s bread and the “new wine of the kingdom” today. So we sing and shout and leap and love for joy, “Hooray!” – though we’ve probably used the more ancient “Alleluia!” today.
God’s doors are opened wide. In the fullness of God there’s no need for closed doors – no need for a door to keep in the warmth, no need for additional security, or draught exclusion, or protection from heresy, or difference – on the outside or on the inside. No tomb on earth is to remain sealed.
No matter the size of the stone seal at the door, the loving, compassionate, welcoming and sustaining Word of God – with or without the help of the pious or the preacher – will roll the stones and the walls of division, false piety, self-satisfaction and suspicion away. Joy, sheer and perfect and unadulterated joy filled the heart, soul, mind and body of the beloved Mary Magdalene. “I’ve seen the Lord!” she said, never, ever, to be separated from his tender embrace again, nor he from hers. Jesus would ascend to the Father. And as he returned to the embrace of God so Mary – and you and me – came to be given pledge and healing feeling – sacramental sign of tender touch, indeed the tenderest possible embrace, on the inside!
God’s alive so we’re alive! Really alive! Happy, happy, happy Easter!