Lost faith and hope can be restored

Rev Wilma Cairns
Rev Wilma Cairns

I was on the ‘phone to a friend recently and she told me a really funny story about how she managed to ruin an entire meal she had laboriously slaved over for days.

What made it worse was that it was her husband’s boss and his wife they were entertaining, and the last thing her husband said to her was: “We need to get this just right.”

I can’t repeat what he said to his wife once they were on their own but, suffice to say, it certainly wasn’t ‘Well done, honey, for a fantastic meal!’

We don’t always get it right.

We’re in the middle of Holy Week and the religious authorities, by now, are convinced Jesus is more trouble than he’s worth.

He has to be put to death and so they begin to make plans, aided by an increasingly disillusioned Judas.

The religious authorities believed that, once Jesus was out of the way, then all who followed him would disappear and never be heard of again.

Well, they didn’t get that right. Jesus’ followers were scattered to the four winds following on from the great joy of Easter and Pentecost but not to remain silent.

They were transformed from timid, frightened men and women into bold, courageous, faith-filled people whose lives had been totally transformed by Christ’s resurrection.

Easter is the triumph of the empty tomb: where death should be, there is death no longer.

As we celebrate this triumph on Easter Day, we are challenged to see the world in a different light.

Yet often, it is hard to see this new life that has been opened to us.

We continue to live in a world full of fear and hatred, of injustice and oppression, of suffering and violence.

However, that is only one side of life. We also live in a world where there is healing and gentleness, courage and love, beauty and happiness that reach out to restore and reconcile.

It is when we live this way that we can begin to understand what is offered to us through Jesus’ resurrection.

That first Easter, Jesus’ disciples thought they had seen evil triumph over innocence, betrayal triumph over friendship and trust. But this was not so.

Where they thought life was lost, life had been restored, and hope was able to shine through the deepest despair.

Many, many centuries later, their stories of Jesus and the life of the early communities of faith continue to be told, which can transform those who hear them in a world very different from first century Galilee and Jerusalem.

Yet the message of lives transformed by the life of Jesus Christ remains a constant reason to shout ‘Christ is Risen. He is Risen indeed!’

May this time of Easter be a blessing to you and yours. Happy Easter!