The weeks podcast is available HERE.
Gardening and the Resurrection of the Cosmic Christ - John 20: 1-9
We are talking this week about the keystone to the Christian faith, without what we celebrate today our faith would be in vain! The event of the Resurrection is central to everything we believe.
Easter morning is very much focused on gardens and new life which is erupting at this time of the year. The focus on the garden comes to mind as the tomb was in a garden and in John's gospel Mary encounters the risen Lord in the garden and mistakes him for the garden. It reminds us of the first garden where Adam and Eve walked in innocence with God until their act of disobedience ruptured that innocence and communion with God which is now restored on this new morning!
Sunday is the first day of the week, Resurrection Sunday is the first day of the new Creation, Christs resurrection is a renewal of that creation which was lost through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Like the song reminds us "Morning has broken, like the first morning". Movement in John again this weeks passage for darkness to light, the early morning sets the imagery for the emerging dawn coming out of the darkness of night, the darkness of sin.
Our Easter ceremonies are generally held in Spring and are very appropriate, it is very easy to see the idea of new life all around us. Who hasnt been able to experience that whole feeling of new life and the giftedness of new life, epecially anyone that ha ever been a gardener or a farmer. We share in the gift of creation in our ability to participate in the Divine Creation, any one who has grown something from a pot plant to a field of corn can testify to how Easter has restore that participation in that Divine Life which has been renewed and restored.
The Resurrection Event is an unknown. Nobody actually witnessed the event of the Resurrection but are left with the empty tomb. We are reliant on the witness of the people present at the time like Peter and John who we hear about this morning. We are reliant on the witness of such failed individuals such as Peter who abandoned Jesus yet the event gave him the courage to go out and proclaim the Resurrection event across the Near East as far as Rome even unto death.
When we are baptised we enter into the tomb with Christ, but what are the stones that keep us locked into that tomb away from the light of Christ. What are we doing to turn ourselves to turn away from God? What do we need to do to roll away the stones in our lives to turn back to God to celebrate the hope we have as Christians.
Like Peter and John do we run to Jesus? Does the Easter message give us joy and urgency about our faith? Peter had run from the court of the High Priest's house in tears of shame and betrayal, now he runs to the tomb in hope thinking, wondering could it be possible? Are we like Peter able to discover that new hope despite what may have happened in our lives, are we open and willing to a personal relationship with the RISEN Christ?
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Easter Symbols and traditions
The Paschal Candle representing the Light of Christ (Lumen Christi) is the centerpiece of the table today and, like the Paschal Candle at church, is relit each day (such as at dinner and during family prayer) until the Feast of the Ascension in 40 days when the Light of the World leaves us to ascend to His Father. The candle should be large and white, and should be surrounded with flowers and the symbols of Easter. It can be carved with the Cross and the numbers for the current year as the church's Paschal Candle was yesterday -- first the Cross, then the Greek letters, then the numbers of the current year as in the diagram below. The cuts can be painted to make them stand out (try gold or deep red paint), and 5 grains of incense can be inserted at the ends and center of the Cross to symbolize the 5 Wounds (some people use cloves in place of incense at home, but if you have 5 grains of incense blessed on the Feast of the Epiphany, all the better) .
It was once believed that the flesh of the peacock never corrupts, so peacocks became the classic symbol of immortality. They are an ancient Christian symbol of the Resurrection, and representations of them are found on the tombs of ancient Christians as an expression of their hope to follow Christ in His defeat of death.
Luke 12:27 - Consider the lilies, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.