Alleluia, Christ is risen: He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
A very happy Easter to everyone in the Derby Cathedral community, and to our many stakeholders and friends.
This year Easter is all about transition. This past year since we entered into lock down for the first time has been full of challenges and real difficulties. In our personal and professional lives we have had to learn how to take care of ourselves, to do things differently, to look out for others in new ways.
And now on this Easter Day with our first gathered congregation since Christmas we are looking forward to gathering for our main services perhaps as early as the end of April.
Once again we are making a transition to different way of relating, another way of gathering together. Everyone I have spoken with shares in the anticipation that comes with looking forward to new experiences in the months ahead – having those conversations outside our households, meeting together inside our houses, being able to see the expressions on each others’ faces, seeing family and friends after such a long while, even being able to go away for a few days break.
Transition is at the heart of the meaning of Easter. On Easter Day we have made the transition from the drama of Holy Week, through the silence of Easter Eve to the joy, the hope and excitement of Easter Day.
We have observed and reflected on the pain, the struggle and the despair of Good Friday helped by some outstanding contributions from our Cathedral musicians.
We have lived the transition from suffering to joy, from anguish to love, from death to life. Now in the miracle of resurrection we are invited to experience the presence of the risen Christ in the midst of our communities and in our personal lives.
A year ago who would have believed that our Cathedral would have been able to come through the experience of three lockdowns? Who would have thought that we would have been able to broadcast with the quality that many of you have tasted over the past few days?
At Easter we make the transition into the space of resurrection. We have come from the place where everything seemed dark and without possibility to the place of light where the world is full of possibility. We realise that we can be, with God’s grace, what God has called us to be and to do things that hitherto were not possible.
This is the meaning of resurrection: that in resurrection God opens up new possibilities in his creation and in our lives. Things that we never thought of suddenly become possible through the power of the Spirit released in the crucified and risen one.
In the life of the resurrection to which we are invited this day, lets imagine the possibilities open to us: the possibility of a new friendship, of offering or receiving forgiveness, of serving our neighbour.
As we look back lets see in a different way. Through the lenses of the risen Jesus let’s see our dogged resilience and the introduction of vaccines as signs of the hope we have lived out: that despair, struggle and even death do not have the last words, but that God’s love revealed in Christ has that last word and again that is what resurrection is all about.
All this as we enter the transition to a new life that awaits us beyond Covid but which will be different because of Covid. It will be a life that will be different to how things were before the first lockdown but it will be a life that is full of the possibility of the new. All because of the power, the depth, the impact of resurrection which Easter Day makes visible to us and enables us to grasp as we flourish with the risen Christ.
Again, a very happy Easter to you all and to our many friends and supporters.