Rainbow Flowers, ©Mark Hewitt 2018
The Passion/Easter story is at the core of our Christian faith. Hardship, struggle and death during Holy Week & Good Friday is overturned by the New Life & overwhelming Joy of Easter Day. Hope triumphs supreme!
What I value about Good Friday is that it is okay to rest in lament. We can be sad, focus on and acknowledge that not all things are bright and beautiful. Life can be tough. Yet the darkness does not fully overwhelm us. Even as we rest in that sorrow, we have hope. That hope might be really, really small but it is still there. The hope is there as we know the story. We might not feel hopeful at the time but we know from before, that resurrection follows the crucifixion, new life follows suffering and pain. Hope & Joy breaks through in Jesus’ story and Hope & Joy will eventually break through in our story.
We began our journey towards Easter with a story of hope. We heard the story about Noah, Naamar & the flood. In that we acknowledged that there will have been storms in our own lives: floods of anxieties, times of being overwhelmed, of being flooded in & with life. Times when it was all too much. But to take hope as after the storms, after the damage…the rainbow will come. Suffering will be followed by the refreshing newness of the rainbow. On that Sunday morning we had a painting of a rainbow against grey stormy clouds to remind us of God’s promise.
Rainbow, ©Mark Hewitt 2018
On Easter Day we have much more than the sign of a rainbow, we have new life through Jesus’ resurrection. To represent that new life we have a painting of flowers that overwhelm the same grey stormy background of the rainbow painting. The flowers are all the same colours of the rainbow. We began our journey with hope we end our journey with hope & joy. The two painting visualise the link between our first Sunday in Lent & Easter day.
Mark 16: 1-8 (NRSV)
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
this past week has been one of mixed emotions;
of faith struggling to understand.
We have greeted you with palm branches;
we have sat at table with you to share a farewell meal.
We have witnessed your death on a simple wooden cross.
Yet on the third day,
you come to us again in victory.
By this, we know that death is not the final word.
As the sun boldly rises to meet a new day,
rise in our lives this easter morning,
for you are our hope,
-©Seasons of the Spirit, Easter 2018