A light has shone. Darkness is overcome. Life has risen. Death has been conquered.
Our long wait is over. Christ, the Victorious Lord has conquered sin and death. Rejoice, the Lord has Risen. He is truly Risen. Hallelujah.
During Lent, we have anticipated with faith this glorious feast - the greatest of all feasts. The resurrection of Jesus has its centrality in our Christian faith. The proclamation by the women on that first Easter Sunday has echoed through the generations that have followed, indeed, to this very day, and throughout the days to come. The faith of the apostles to the Risen Lord has traveled through in time, up to the present, and to time everlasting.
Hallelujah is our song, Jesus is truly Risen.
The voices of Good Friday echoed in our ears, especially during this time of struggle, fear, anxiety and doubts. The cynical voices of the powerful, the baying voices of the crowd, the weeping voices of the women of Jerusalem, the voice of Judas the betrayer, of Peter whose courage failed, the voice from the cross itself, crying in need and dereliction, and also whispering words of love and hope. Friday was a picture of chaos and uncertainty ... pretty much what we’ve seen in the world these past few months.
Then came the silence of Holy Saturday, the stark silence of death, the day of emptiness and lifelessness, when hope seemed strangled and futility and despair snatched the stage - similar to the experiences of those on the front lines of the virus, and to those who have died because of it.
But today we have listened to the silence of a tomb that is empty. Perhaps the rolling of the rock that covered the tomb was the only sound that was heard. Everything else was light!
We come to listen to a voice, a voice which speaks to us from the other side of Easter, the other side of death, from beyond the grave, a familiar voice, a known voice, a voice of the Risen Lord calling us by name; the voice of love which will never be silenced.
Brothers and sisters, although we cannot come to our church for our usual Easter celebration, we gather as a faith community in our domestic church with our families. It is joyful to be hearing again the familiar story of that first Easter, which was a day of a new beginning - the day when it was first whispered and then shouted that Christ was risen from the dead!
And so we come today spiritually to lay our burdens down, trusting and believing that Christ is indeed risen, to the glory of the Father, and that the bonds of sin are broken, death lies defeated, and love has come again. We are invited to walk in freedom and joy with our brothers and sisters in our community, with our friends and with strangers we meet along the way. And while the world weeps because of the pandemic, while the world fights against time, while the world seeks a cure, JESUS CHRIST is the RISEN LORD.
And so we sing Hallelujah, and we give thanks, thanks be to God who gives us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We lift up the world in our prayers, we embrace the down-hearted, and those who are losing hope. Now; more than ever, like the women of Jerusalem and the great apostles, we go out into the world - yes, virtually - and announce the GOOD NEWS of our salvation - JESUS CHRIST is ALIVE Semper Et In Aeternum (always and forever)!