As I write this, we are celebrating the Easter weekend in our homes, still being in
virus lockdown, with little hope of a change anytime soon. It is a time of uncertainty
about the future, for our communities and society as we wonder when our freedom
and ability to work and shop normally again will come. But it worries us as individuals
too, as we consider our personal finances and circumstances and our future
Now, as you read this, it is the post-Easter season where, as Christians, we consider
bible readings about the resurrection appearances of Jesus. Luke, a Gospel writer,
describes two disciples walking to Emmaus, confused after the death of Jesus (Luke
chapter 24). They then meet the resurrected Jesus, who explains how his suffering
was necessary before his glory. Their confusion turned to excitement and with
renewed hope they began, with the other disciples, to form the early church. All their
questions didn’t have answers right away and the early church wasn’t perfect, nor is
it now. Yet they built their lives in the hope and trust of a new way of living, shown
by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; to love God and to love one another. I
wonder in what we put our hope and trust.
The stories of the beginnings of the early church are exciting and dramatic, and
recorded by Luke in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. They could have chosen to
go back to their old way of life. Many disciples were just ordinary fishermen.
However, they chose this new way and 2000 years on, Christians still seek to live out
the Christian faith, following the way of Jesus.
Someday, soon I hope, lockdown restrictions will begin to ease, the burden on the
NHS will ease, more of us will get back to work and we will eventually be allowed to
socialise again and worship together in church. There will be a new normal to
negotiate, however. We could just return to travelling to where and whenever we
want; to shop with the expectation of endless choice of foods and groceries; to live in
our own worlds with little interactions with the neighbours in our community. Or we
could return to a new normal, to be mindful of the impact we have on our global
village and its climate; to differentiate what we need and what we want; to be more
aware of the people around us, their needs and their friendship.
There has been lots of talk about the new ways of doing church in these
unprecedented times. Online and Zoom services have flourished, but so too has
neighbourly care, being good Samaritans to one another, being thankful to others
(key workers) who do so much for us but too often are taken for granted. These are
all good ways to love one another that have abounded and flourished.
As we come out of the confusion caused by the virus pandemic, as one day we will,
let us be like the disciples and learn a new way of life and not just return to the same
old routines and habits. We have learnt to love one another and our world in a new
way – long may it continue.
Christ is risen – alleluia!
Rev’d John Saxon