Relive the resurrection this Easter

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Witness banner credit Elizabeth Gray KingThe Revd Elizabeth Gray-King, United Reformed Church Programme Officer for Education and Learning, reflects on the meaning of Easter Sunday.

Easter, oh, Easter. Resurrection Sunday. The stunning annual festival of forgiveness power and beautiful transformation reminds us that we are made new again. The Easter liturgy and events, retold in any way, tell us each year that no matter how dead we have felt, no matter how overwhelmed in a tomb-like hold we have been, no matter how we feel or know we almost died, we are able to deeply live again. Easter is what happened to Jesus, and because of Jesus, it happens to us.

Jesus lived a short powerful life as human and God among us. For him, Easter was a single event, unrepeated but retold again and again as witnesses dared to tell. Jesus hinted at his Easter, but few understood those hints. His faith family expected resurrection of the body for a messiah, but when Jesus was killed, he was seen by few as that. Jesus had one Easter event. But us? Wow. Because Holy Spirit lives inside us, we can die and live again, one resurrection moment after another, repeated any time we need renewed life.

No, we don’t have resurrection of the body. What we share is new life repeatedly while we’re still breathing. Unlike old gospel hymns telling people that new life happens after the body decays and dies, Easter truth is that new life happens in the midst of our living and breathing flesh and blood. We observe, let it warm us, receive, and live again. Yes, it’s mysterious and no, it can’t be easily explained. There we are. It simply is.

The image is a detail from my painting, ‘Witness’. The people gathered round could be those just after Jesus’ Easter event or they could be us now, in today’s busy world, truly stopping to take in the light. The light could be the angel glow from the empty tomb, or it could be the light of eternal God, warming us as Spirit moves and renews.

This Easter, let us accept and witness our own beautiful transformation, then have a witness’ power to share its potential.

Image: Witness. A painting by Elizabeth Gray-King
Published: 21 April 2019

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