Summary: Whatever it feels like, even if you haven't noticed yet - it is a happy Easter!


“When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, … The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews.”

Jesus is risen - Alleluia

At dawn they had discovered the empty tomb and the women had encountered the risen Jesus. They had rushed back and told the rest of the disciples.

It’s a joyous day - hallelujah.

But it doesn’t look like the 11 have noticed. Jesus may be risen, It may be Easter Day, but the disciples are still living in Good Friday.

It’s very easy not to notice things.

There’s an advert that TFL put out a few years back. For this I need 10 volunteers.

You five are the white team (make them wear white bin bags)

You five are the black team (make them wear black bin bags)

Now if you have seen this advert before, you [the rest of the congregation] need to count the number of passes of the ball the white team has made.

And the advert tells you that the white team made 13 passes

And then it says “but did you see the Moonwalking bear”

And they rewind the video clip you have just seen.

And you see a guy in a bear costume moonwalk down the middle of the players as they do their catches. [other pre-prepared child volunteer acts this out]

The catchline is “It’s easy not to see things you are not looking for”

It’s a road safety advert encouraging you to look out for cyclists and pedestrians and so on.

[ok you can sit back down]

“When it was evening of the the first day of the week… The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews”

The 11 disciples were so focused on their difficulties - just like in that advert we were so focused on watching the ball - that we couldn’t see the dancing bear - they couldn’t see that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Don’t get me wrong. Their difficulties were very real. They had good reason to fear being gathered up and arrested. When Judas the Gallilean or Simon of Perea had claimed to be the messiah and had been executed by the Romans, their followers were too. What was the likely fate of Jesus’s followers after he had been executed?

But because they were so focussed on their difficulties, they could not see what Mary Magdalene had already seen that morning - that Jesus had risen.

It might be Easter Day, but for the disciples it was still Good Friday.

And perhaps it feels like that for some of you?

- I don’t know what all of you are going through, but I know something of what some of you are going through:

- I know that there are at least three people in this congregation who have had a young relative seriously seriously ill over the last few weeks and months.

- I know there are at least four people in this congregation trying to care for a spouse with dementia or some other illness while they struggle with their ill health.

- I know that there are at least two people in this congregation helping care for their grandkids after the dad walked out on their daughter leaving her with the kids.

- I know there are at least three people (myself included) in this congregation who have had a parent die since Christmas.

- I know several people in this congregation suffering from depression, anxiety or other forms of mental ill health

- I know that there are at least three people in this congregation who have had a young relative go completely off the rails perhaps to the extent that the police have been called in.

- I know of at least two people who have had serious and unexpected health issues over the last few weeks

- I know several of you who have either been made redundant, or are fearful that you shall shortly lose your job.

And that’s only the people that I know about

[Sound cynical] “Happy Easter to you all!”

Except that it really is Happy Easter to you all!

Because the message of Easter isn’t about a bunny coming and dancing in tossing out chocolate while daffodils float in the air around her.

The message of Easter is that every tear shall be wiped from every eye - because all the crap you are going through has been overcome when Jesus didn’t just take that on himself on the cross, but he burst from the tomb and defeated death.

Some ancient symbols of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Who knows what this one is? {picture of a phoenix}

In legend a phoenix dies in flames before it is reborn as a new chick.

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