Happy Easter! Perhaps you are wondering why I would begin this note with that greeting seen as Easter Sunday was three weeks ago? Well, Easter Sunday may have been three weeks ago, but we are still in the Easter season, reminding us that that Easter is not a one day event. The season of Easter lasts for fifty days, offering those of us celebrate the empty tomb an opportunity to delve deeper into how our belief in a love stronger than death continues to shape us today. The Easter season also presents a chance to hear the fullness of the Easter story. One such part is shared in John’s Gospel, and tells of the disciples hidden away in fear. They had seemingly lost everything. They have followed their rabbi into Jerusalem, expecting him to bring about revolution but instead they had seen him taken to be killed, before they themselves ran away from him.
The reality of the disciples lives in that moment, in that place of fear, is sometimes where we find ourselves. Like them we at times find ourselves let down, confused and fearful. We find ourselves reeling from disaster. Sometimes we find ourselves thinking everything is going along okay and then suddenly facing a bleak and unexpected future. Just like them we sometimes lock ourselves away from the world, whether literally or figuratively believing our cause to be lost. Just like those first disciples felt.
But for those first disciples huddled together in fear, despite everything seeming to point to the contrary, John’s Gospel says that Jesus was with them. There in that locked room, and through their locked hearts the light of a love stronger than death shone through. That light confounded their expectations, and in the face of their fear brought them peace. The light of that love was, and is, transformative even in the darkest of surroundings. May we all welcome the transforming light of God’s presence and love into our hearts, so that whatever our expectation, we might welcome the peace that it brings.