More than Bonnets and Bunnies
An Easter message from Canon David Staples
I had a “Senior Moment” when I was 52. I got the hymns wrong. So in one of my churches we sang “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” on the Sunday before Lent. It was my typing error. But it was a fortunate mistake because it reminded us that every Sunday - the first day of the week - is a commemoration of Our Lord’s resurrection. Sunday is often confused with Sabbath. Sabbath is Saturday - the seventh day of the week and in Jewish tradition a commemoration of God’s rest after the six days of creation.
It is proper to be reminded throughout the year that Christians are “An Easter People”. It is what makes us distinct amongst other faith communities. Jesus was not just a prophet, a good man, or a teacher of an ideal unattainable and guilt provoking to lesser mortals. Christianity is not a moral code or ethical system. Jesus is our Risen Lord. Christianity is a corporate response to him in joyful worship and sacrificial living. In these multicultural days we need to be reminded that however much we admire their sincerity and respect the freedom of religious expression not all religions are the same. It is Easter which makes Christianity quite unique. The task for this generation is how to manage religious difference.
Easter is something which should make us look in joyful anticipation to its corporate celebration in weekly public worship. It is not a matter of either duty, convention or even personal spiritual top-up. For it is when we gather together to celebrate our Risen Lord Sunday by Sunday that we declare that unique and distinctive faith which we claim to profess to the community at large. In my view that witness is one of the most effective tools of evangelism.
When I was a boy I used to see children walking to Sunday School from all directions on Sundays which in those days were uncluttered by other commercial or leisure activities. They had Bibles clasped in hand, and I wanted to know what they were doing and why. The answers are amongst the reasons why I celebrate the 59th anniversary of my ordination this year.
It is important that all the Lord’s People should meet at the Lord’s Table on the Lord’s Day. It is a powerful expression of corporate witness in the community. By doing it we proclaim the uniquely Good News of our Crucified and Risen Lord.
“Alleluiah, Christ is Risen”. “He is Risen indeed. Alleluiah”.
Canon David Staples