ST HELENS METHODIST CHURCH, HASTINGS
Minister’s Letter – April 2022
This is a special month in the life of the Christian church for it is at this time that our journey with Jesus brings us to the events of Holy Week. We share Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem to be followed a few days later by the anguish in the garden of Gethsemane and his submission to the Father’s will that he should undergo the suffering of the cross. As we hear again of these events we do so knowing that the cross was not the end of the story.
But that was not the case for those who stood at the foot of the cross which included a group of women who had come up with Jesus from Galilee. Women are given a prominent place in Luke’s gospel and it is the women who had been at the cross who followed as Jesus body was taken down and laid in the tomb.
It was these same women who went with spices to anoint the body of Jesus who discovered that the tomb was empty. Luke’s account of the discovery of the empty tomb – the most significant discovery for Christians – is very ‘human’. There is no immediate jubilation, only fear and bewilderment. Joy had not yet come to these first followers of Jesus.
Yet they believed the message of the two men who said to them ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.’ Prompted by the messengers the women remembered all that Jesus had said about his death and that he would rise again and rushed to tell the disciples and others with them of their discovery.
But their words were dismissed as nonsense. Peter, who had denied his Lord, overcame his shame and cowardice and rushed out to see if the women’s story could possibly be true. Yet even Peter, in discovering the empty tomb, was merely ‘amazed at what had happened.’
Looking back at the first Easter, we can understand all these very ‘human’ reactions. However, we can rejoice knowing that the power of God has overcome death and this victory can be ours, too, through Jesus Christ.
As we think about and celebrate the Easter story this year may the tensions and feelings it contains penetrate our lives with renewed meaning that will encourage us in our life together.
May the joy and hope of the Risen Lord be with us all.
Easter Blessings to you all
Revd Tricia Williams