Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter: putting us together again

Easter Cross
Originally uploaded by Lees Street.
On Good Friday, we marked the way in which the breaking of Jesus' body was mirrored in the breaking of his community. This was signalled most clearly by Peter's denial of his Teacher - he was cutting himself off from 'the body of Christ'. And as Jesus died, we read that the women 'stood at a distance'. Others fled, or hid, and stayed silent. But Easter signals the healing of the body - just as Jesus is risen, so his community rises to new life. The disciples on the road to Emmaus start talking things through; they are open to the wisdom of an apparent outsider; they are hospitable again, despite their inevitable fears; they share bread; and they go and share good news, once their eyes are 'opened'. The body is being restored! And so it is with Peter - in John's Gospel, chapter 21, Jesus gives him chance to put right each of his three denials, and he re-commits to feeding Jesus' sheep ... the journey can go on; for the body is restored. This is good news: Even through the very worst things, there is hope as God chooses and uses broken and fragile people to be agents of good news. So it is that, in 1 Corinthians 15 (vs 12-20, 42-44), we are encouraged because 'what is sown in weakness is raised in strength, what is sown in dishonour is raised in glory, what is sown physically is raised spiritually.' The risen Christ is 'the first-fruits' of this hope: so there is more to come ... each time we are broken, we can be restored, to go on and share good news. Otherwise, we are left with nothing; so thank God, who puts us together again, and again, to carry on being compassionate, forgiving, as wounded travellers seeking peace and justice together.