The Vicar Writes
“Christ is Risen.”
We met on a grey, cold evening to light our fire. The flames soon got going, and began to scatter the darkness of the night sky. We blessed the fire, and then our paschal candle was lit from its flames. Carrying the candle high, we then entered a darkened Church and proclaimed at the top of our voices: Christ is Risen!
The Church was soon lit up as light was passed from light, candle to candle, all taken from the great paschal candle. We saw before our eyes a visual demonstration of how Easter works. Easter spreads. It burns up the night, and just a tiny Easter flame gets rid of a whole lot of darkness.
That’s how we celebrated our first part of Easter in S. David’s and S. Timothy’s, and for us, that celebration just keeps on going. Easter is a fifty day season which lasts right up to Pentecost. We are now in Eastertide, which takes up a seventh of the Church’s year.
We need such a long time to keep celebrating it, because our eyes and hearts have a very un-Easter default setting. A lot of the time, our horizons are stuck sometime between Good Friday to Holy Saturday, and that’s very understandable. It’s not as if these things aren’t real; it’s not as if spectacularly bad things don’t often happen to very good people.
The Christian knows this. She knows that the darkness in this world is indeed very great. It’s just that she refuses to live by it, be defined by it or be ruled by it.
The Christian knows the dangerous, subversive truth that darkness, sadness, addiction, separation, pain –even death itself, doesn’t get to have the last word. Jesus has risen, Easter has landed, and so the last word is always going to be spoken by Love. The personal reality of Jesus’ risen presence in our lives convicts us of this living truth.
With a mischievous sense of joy, a Christian is therefore someone who goes around lighting fires. Our faith commands it. With faith in the Risen one, we light fires of hope and love in dark places, spreading the truth that the message of Easter means the victory of life for all of God’s children.
We are children of the resurrection. That means more than believing that Jesus rose from the dead. It means trusting in our daily lives that this is true, and allowing that truth to burn our fears, our anguish, our sorrows.
May the Light of the Risen One keep burning in you.