Christ, our Passover has been sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the Feast. Alleluia! 1 Corinthians 5:7
Take a moment to ponder
One of the things that is both mysterious and yet delightful about the Christian Faith is that it calls us to be at home with the fact that life is a paradox, that is it calls us to hold together two opposing truths. This quality of paradox is at the heart of what gives rise to the faith- the death and Resurrection of Christ Jesus. This reality of paradox is also exemplified in our Bible verse that calls us to hold together two realities-sacrifice and Feast in a joyous tension. That is not easy to do, but, thankfully the Christ and the Cross provides us with the grace to do so because our salvation is built upon both Good Friday and Easter Day, both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. We need both if we are to live the Eternal life amidst this present life, with its unpredictability and uncertainty. It’s an affirmation that we can make right at the end of this life, for as we say in the funeral liturgy – All of us go down to the dust, yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia (BCP 372).
Therefore, in this Easter week that is set in a context that the world has not experienced, perhaps since World War 2, the Christian community has to proclaim the Easter experience, the Paschal Mystery to a world that is still coming to grips with the chaos, mayhem and death and destruction that the COVID-19 PANDEMIC has caused across the world, even while nations and individuals still have to deal with ongoing adversities. In such a scenario, we might feel a bit insensitive to proclaim a message of hope and Resurrection, however, this is where we must delve deeper into our understanding of the Christ event/phenomenon, just like the apostle Paul. Remember what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1519 –“If for this life only we have hope in Christ, then we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Therefore with sensitivity to the grief and pain that others will be feeling, we still have a duty to proclaim Resurrection, because, there is more to life than what we are experiencing, and, in the paradox that is our faith, what is to come will make the travail of the present time more than worth it. Thankfully in the meantime, we can more than empathize with those who grieve, because our faith has both Crucifixion and Resurrection has components of the grand event of Christ. So let us sing Jesus Christ is risen today Alleluia, our triumphant holy day, Alleluia, who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia, suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia.
I invite us to reflect on the two petitions from our prayers of the people and how in the light of the Easter message with its glorious paradox we may be able to bring hope
To all who suffer now from pain and disease from human discomfort and misery, may God in Christ bring healing and joy, for the renewal of their faith. Father in Heaven. Hear our prayer.
Comfort and help all persons who are in any trouble, sorrow, need, sickness or any other adversity, especially those who have suffered severe setbacks because of the COVID-19 pandemic Help us to help them, O Lord.
A Moment in Prayer
O God who for our Redemption gave your only begotten Son to the death of the cross and by his glorious Resurrection Delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever. Amen.
Contributed by Canon Michael Allen