by David Morson
In I Corinthians, St Paul writes,” If Christ is not Risen then Our Faith is in vain”.
Easter Sunday is a Day of Great Joy because Jesus overcomes the powers of darkness to restore all humanity to new life in God. In the Orthodox Church people process in to the unlit Church and one Candle is lit to the cry, “Christ is Risen”. Then slowly and steadily the light passes from one person’s candle to the next, until the Church is ablaze with radiant light. This lovely ceremony symbolises the way that Jesus comes out of the darkness of the Tomb as a Light to the World and how one by one His risen presence is transferred through us in the lit candles, one after another. So, we too are brought out into the radiant life of God when sin and death have been conquered giving us a joyous new beginning. Moreover, hope, that even though we die,we will rise again.
The narrative of what happened on this wonderful day will be read at Mass, so I will not try to record that here, except to share one lovely aspect of the story that I find very human and a little amusing. In St John’s Gospel, after Mary encounters the empty tomb, she finds Peter and “the disciple Jesus loved” (coded language for St John himself, the youngest disciple) and tells them what she has seen. We are then told by St John in his Gospel, that the two disciples” run” to the tomb, ” but the other disciple” (John) outran Peter. However he waits for Peter “who was behind him,” to catch up before going in. If anyone thinks this story is made up, why would St John go in into such minute and vaguely humorous detail to describe what happened on that wondrous morning. What a lovely human touch!
Can I wish everybody a peaceful and joyous Easter. God bless you all.