St Bride's: Sermons

He is risen!

He is risen!
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We have proclaimed in word and song - Christ is Risen: that's what Easter is all about: all that injures and destroys has been overcome by what heals and creates. Hurray - let the bells ring out! It's a compelling vision, but what does resurrection mean? It certainly means that 2000 years ago, Christ was raised from the dead: that the victory of the Cross was vindicated and made known by Jesus rising from the tomb: that the first disciples could proclaim Jesus is Lord.

But this Easter morning we are celebrating something more than just an historical event, something in the distant past. What does resurrection mean for us now?

In the Star Wars films, immediately after an especially spiritually gifted character dies their essence gets transferred to their followers, and the character lives on in the lives of other spiritually aware people. It's not a perfect analogy, but it points to something important about what we celebrate today - the spirit of the Risen Christ, alive and at large in the world.

Last year, in December, the wife of our Head of Finance, James Irving tragically died - her death at such a young age was a profound shock and sadness to many people. At her funeral I asked the congregation how we could make something positive out of this very sad event, turn a why into a how. How could we somehow ensure that Natalie's spirit lived on - all her energy and drive and creativity? And I said then that one thing I was going to do was to learn to bake - because Natalie was a great baker, and had made cakes for my own daughter's wedding. So that every time I baked a cake I would remember Natalie and her spirit would live on.

I've been baking ever since, and, do you know, I really feel that some of Natalie's energy has been given to me to keep me at it and make me want to keep baking. Her spirit live on through that simple and homely act.

Isn't that an echo of Jesus' own sprit and presence living on in the lives of his followers? Isn't that a bit of resurrection in the here and now? So how about asking God that some of Jesus' energy and presence might flow through us - in what we do - through love and service and kindness and joy and peace, out into the lives of others? How about thinking of ways in which we can be channels for His energy and the energy of others? Because if we start thinking and acting in that way, then resurrection ceases to be just a historical fact, or an ecclesiastical festival but a living reality, something that can energise and transform our lives here and now. Resurrection is about turning a why into a how. Resurrection is God raising us up, God creating, God doing something new, and that can happen in our lives now, precisely because it happened supremely through the life and death of one man, Jesus, 2000 years ago. Christ is risen - and so are we! Alleluia! Amen.

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