12th April 2020

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out” (John 1:5 GNB).

These words from the opening chapter of John’s gospel seem particularly poignant this Easter.  For many, these past few weeks have felt like desperate dark days as we mourn the loss of so many people, so many things.  However, although the days may seem dark, we are not in complete darkness.  There have been glimpses of light almost everywhere we turn, if we care to find them. 

Since the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples had retreated to the shadows, to a place where they could mourn the loss of their friend, the source of their hope.  Even then, they did not fully understand what Jesus had taught them about hope and a future that he would still be very much part of. 

The thing about shadows though is that they cannot exist without light.  There has to be a glimmer of light for shadows to form. The light casting their shadows had not gone completely.  Confused, frustrated, even angry, they struggled to come to terms with what had happened.  We too may feel like we are living in the shadows, struggling to make sense of what is going on around us, overwhelmed by the sense of so many different kinds of loss.  

John reminds us though, that the light which shone in the darkness so long ago, still cannot be put out.  The dim light of life in the shadows soon turned to dazzling brightness for the disciples when the risen Jesus stood among them.  Suddenly, all they had been taught came back to them and they rejoiced in the presence of the light of Jesus for whom even the darkness of death had been overcome.

This Easter Day, different though it is, light still shines.  The light of Jesus’ love shines for us all in the kindness of strangers, in the care offered to the vulnerable, the sick and the dying.  It shines in the renewed sense of community spirit generated from living in isolation from one another, an isolation which has, ironically brought us all so much closer, united in our shared humanity.  

For those of us who claim Christ Jesus as Lord, today remains a special day, perhaps even more so as we live it in lockdown, for we too are able to rejoice in the knowledge that the light shining in the darkness, can never be put out.  Jesus is our light, our hope, our salvation, and in him we put our trust.  

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.  The disciple were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.  Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you!’” (John 20:19-21 NIV).

Jesus Christ is risen today.  Let us rejoice in his presence.

Lord God on this, the most precious of days, we give thanks for the gift of your Son, Jesus, the light which continues to shine, bringing hope to the shadowed places of our lives and our world.  We give thanks for the gift of your Holy Spirit which reminds us of your presence, guides us in your ways, and point us always to the hope we have received in Jesus.  Continue the good work you have begun in us.  Open our eyes to the many ways your love is being shared in these present challenging times.  Strengthen those who are weary, continue to bless those who work on the frontlines with courage, comfort, and hope.  And may we, who feel helpless, discover our usefulness, however simple it may seem.  This joyful Easter Day we offer you our prayers in the name, and for the sake of Jesus.  Amen.

Click the link below to see a short video and song, ‘See what a Morning’ by Stuart Townend. 

See what a morning