“Those who have ears to hear, listen to these words I now say.
Those who have eyes to see, watch as this story unfolds.”
Today is Easter Day! The highest and holiest day of the Christian calendar which traditionally day begins with the responsive cry, “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!”
Referring back to Song 1 – The Song of the Dying God, the deep magic of “The Law”, etched into stone tablets, no longer operated. Time itself began to unwind and the grip of death was relinquished. To quote Aslan in C S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “… though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack an Death itself would start working backwards.”
This day nearly two thousand years ago, the deeper magic of the universe, written by the Eternal One before time began, and which had been at work in the unseen realms (see Song 2 – The Song of Redemption) revealed itself in power. Power that once again shook the earth, this time as it jumped for joy at the return of its Maker:
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.
Sometimes Jesus surprises us, turning up in the most unexpected places, hidden in plain sight. Often we’re not expecting him to be there, either because we’re not looking for him, or perhaps because we wouldn’t expect him to be interested in being there.
But Mary [Magdalene] stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher).
Mary’s tears of grief were exchanged for tears of joy in a rollercoaster of emotions – the One she had loved and lost now stood before her, and called her by name. Her heart lept for joy!
The darkness of the last few days had been vanquished in a blaze of glorious light – the Light of the World was back! The light which had shone in the darkness, was not extinguished, but even brighter than ever.
But the earth still groans, scarred from a thousand wars, and the continual greed and selfishness of humans who abuse her. Eagerly she awaits the full revelation of those who are following the Creator’s ways, who actively seek the restoration of relationship amongst all of creation, between her and the Eternal. Yet, despite the groans, she continues to sing the praises of the One who both made it, came down and became part of it, rising victorious from her womb that first Easter day.
Bones in the earth,
Trees and flowers of the field,
Everything that has the breath of life,
Elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water,
Sun, moon and stars,
All powers in the heavenly realms,
All who are gathered here both seen and unseen,
Know that the power of death is defeated!
Hear these words, spoken of our Creator, Jesus Christ, as they resonate throughout time and space, in past, present and future…
He is not here… He is risen!
He is risen indeed – Allelujah!
(c) Matt Arnold, Pleasley Forest Church Easter Sunrise Ritual
- Where have we encountered the Risen Jesus, perhaps unexpectedly, perhaps maybe even without recognising Who he is?
- How am I following the Maker in order to work in the restoration of relationships, within myself, between others, between humans and the planet, and between all creation and the Divine One?
Happy Easter Everyone!