This has been the oddest Holy Week I have ever known. Someone described it as the ‘Lentiest, Lent they have ever Lented!’ There is far more in that flippant comment than first meets the eye. Lent is not just about giving up things – and we have all been giving up far more than we expected! – it is about re-assessing who we are and how we might change; a lament for our current situation but with the hope before us of knowing more of Christ. The joy of the resurrection on Easter day is the fulfilment of the Lenten hope. But what of this year? Our enforced isolation is set to continue; the church doors, schools, etc remain closed, fear abounds, - fear for health, financial security, well-being…
On that first Easter Day the disciples were locked in a room together, overwhelmed with fear. Their world had fallen apart. Everything that had kept them busy for the last three years was at an end – they really did not know what to do with themselves. Their hope had died on the cross too. And over it all was the shadow of fear. But into this scene Jesus appeared and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
From this revelation of the resurrection hope began to grow. They still faced a difficult future but hope had returned. In recent days I have seen signs of hope in our world: fish returning to the canals of Venice, mountain goats in central Llandudno, wildlife more evident everywhere, the hole in the ozone layer shrinking, a community spirit of helping the most vulnerable, support for NHS workers… the list could go on. These are all signs of hope for our town and our world. This Lent has, perhaps helped us all to re-evaluate what is most important both in the world and in our lives. And that is a good place from which to celebrate the joy of resurrection – God’s gift to us of life in all its fulness.