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8 April 2020

The unchanging truth of Easter

  • From the Chaplain

Dear Families and Friends

You may have noticed some purple bows around the College grounds this past week which is a reminder to us of the Easter events, purple being the colour of royalty and a reminder of the humility and sacrifice that Jesus endured upon the cross. Yet as I was tying the bows and ribbons I thought to myself, this does not feel like a ‘normal’ Easter. There are two questions there. What is a normal Easter and why does this not Easter feel ‘normal’? Let me address the first, as it helps to answer the second.

What is a normal Easter?

Well in our family, Easter means that we would go to church on Good Friday, and then again on Easter Sunday. Usually we would have an Easter egg hunt after church on Sunday, there would be hot cross buns with lots of butter! We would gather with family and friends to celebrate all that Jesus had done for us, thanking Him for such great love. There would be the embrace from family members and friends. We might even go away for a short holiday.

But this year; there is a lot of things that we cannot do.

And that is what makes this Easter feel like it is not a ‘normal’ one.

We cannot go to church to be with our friends. We cannot go to the Grandparents house to enjoy chocolate eggs or their warm embrace. It is hard to get to the shops and buy the regular grocery items, let alone Easter eggs or hot cross buns. And there does not feel like there is a lot to celebrate right now. Many people have heavy hearts and sad feelings within. And that is OK to feel like that. Our whole way of life is different right now.

May I encourage you with two things. We do indeed find ourselves in the midst of unprecedented times. Things are different. We are facing challenges. Even so, there is a constant that we are challenged to hold onto, and that is our faith in Jesus.

Easter is about Jesus.

Easter is when we remember that Jesus died upon a cross, that He was buried in a tomb, and that He rose from the grave on the third day. We read these events in the Gospel narratives like Luke 23:26- 24:12. These events we remember as Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The truth of the Easter message NEVER changes. So even though we find ourselves in uncharted territory, even though things are not as we would like and there are things that will be different this year, we are still invited to celebrate and remember that Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, that His body was beaten and bruised for us, that He was buried in the tomb and three days He rose from the grave.

Easter is about your heart.

As much as I love chocolate and enjoy a hot cross bun, those things are not a necessity for Easter. Sure they are nice things to enjoy, but that is it, simply nice things. Jesus did not die upon the cross to give us a holiday, or to make sure that we get lots of chocolate and yummy foods, or even to spend time with our families; as nice as that is. He died upon the cross to offer forgiveness for our sin because He loves us! And love has to do with the heart. Easter is about your heart! It is about your heart being made right with God. It is about seeing the wrong things we have done turned into right. It is about remembering and thanking God that He loves us so very much that He was willing to go through such pain and suffering for us. It is about celebrating that Jesus did not stay dead; yes His body was placed in a tomb but on the third day He rose again!

So this Easter, I encourage you to focus on the things you can do, not on what you cannot, to focus on the things that we do have, not the things we are doing without. When you see a wooden cross, let it be a reminder to thank God for His great love for us. When you see purple sashes or ribbons, think about how amazing Jesus is, that He offers us forgiveness. When you spend time coming to a stop to think about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday may you celebrate that He is alive!

May God bless you this coming Easter.

Peace to you and Yours,

Adam Wood