• Mark Cresswell

Reflections and Prayers Easter Day - 4th April



This week's readings can be found here John 20 1-18


Reflection Easter Day


I wonder if I were to ask those of us who go to church to recount the Easter story how well we’d do? I’m pretty confident that actually while much of the detail might be confused between the accounts – we’d get it pretty well right. We’d get the open tomb, Mary and the other women finding it empty, the early morning, the news spreading to the disciples. Running. Meeting the gardener.


But would we feel it? We know the story facts, but do we feel the emotion? Holy Week is a roller coaster of the strongest emotions that exist. From betrayal to false trial & death. Grieving, discovery resurection and finally joy. And yet while we know the story do we let God enter our hearts through it?


The Easter story is full of surprises. The empty tomb itself, the discovery by Mary and probably other women and their proclamation to the disciples of the resurection. Not recognising Jesus. Yet like a joke we’ve heard before how do we let God surprise us through it? Perhaps this year more than any with the sense of loss from the pandemic we need to look to that lovely meeting between Mary and Jesus in v14. He greets and consoles her and you get that sense of a special caring coming from Jesus. Mary has an outburst of emotion (who would not) and just wants to give Jesus a hug and hold on to him. How often in this pandemic have we missed the simple touch of a handshake or hug?

Perhaps this Easter what God wants us to be surprised about is simply His love for us. A love that is personal and individual, that meets us where we are, and helps us to see what Jesus did for us on the cross. A love we see in that conversation. A love that surprises we can also surprise the world with. A love that will make this old world a new world.


Mark Cresswell


Seven Stanzas at Easter

John Updike (1932–2009)


Make no mistake: if He rose at all it was as His body; if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers, each soft Spring recurrent; it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the eleven apostles; it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes, the same valved heart that-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then regathered out of enduring Might new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping, transcendence; making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages: let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché, not a stone in a story, but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of time will eclipse for each of us the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb, make it a real angel, weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous, for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty, lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed by the miracle, and crushed by remonstrance.

To Pray for

  • World peace, with so much unrest, violence and terrorism worldwide

  • Resolution of all supply problems related to the Covid vaccinations.

  • Our benefice as we come together once more in our Churches to celebrate Easter

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