In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.’ (St John 1: 1-5 NRSV)
I remember Easter from when I was a child. It was such a happy time with all the excitement of going on a picnic to roll the eggs that our mother had prepared for the day. Of course, these were real eggs which we had fun decorating and painting. It was fun, but I am afraid that I have never been able to develop a taste for hard-boiled eggs. However, I did like the chocolate eggs that we were allowed to eat once we had rolled our eggs until the shells had broken and we had eaten at least some of the egg.
In those early years it seemed that Easter was all about eggs and chocolate. It was only as I grew up that I began to learn the backstory of Easter. Of our Lord’s Passion and resurrection, the stories of his love of people – especially those considered sinners and unworthy by the religious leaders of the day. The joy with which he was received by ordinary people compared to the hatred of those who felt threatened by him. Of the political intrigue, his betrayal by Judas, being abandoned by his friends, the injustice of his trial, the fickleness of a crowd persuaded to bay for his blood. Pilate’s failure to stand up for justice by symbolically washing his hands of the whole thing, and Jesus’ subsequent violent execution. It was later still that I learned that in what happened to our Lord, he shared in the suffering of so many people down the centuries, and so many people in the present day.
As I write this letter it is a few weeks before Easter and I don’t know what will have happened in Ukraine, or the world, by then. However, whatever happens, Easter and our Lord’s resurrection tells us that the forces of evil and darkness that took our Lord to his death did not have the last word. He is risen and the victory is won. Therefore, the forces of evil and darkness which still betray justice and truth, compassion and love. The forces of evil that are still killing people in Ukraine and around the world today, will not have the last word.
Jesus also said, ‘l am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’
There are many places of darkness in the world and our task is to witness to the light of his life. To proclaim this Easter, and every day, that Christ is risen, and that the darkness will be overcome.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
A Blessed Easter to you all