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Chaplain's Chat 3rd May 2017

Easter weekend is over. Now what?

Lent is over. Good Friday is history. Easter has come and gone. The chocolate has been eaten.  ……….. Now what?

The season of Lent began all those weeks ago with Ash Wednesday and continued on into Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and ultimately Easter Sunday.  Those who reflected deeply on the implications of the Lenten and Easter seasons spent a lot of spiritual and emotional energy in the process.  Now what? Do we revert back to our normal routines and check our calendars to see when the next public holiday is? I suspect many people may have done that already.  Sadly, for many, the yearly experience with the resurrected Christ is over … at least until Christmas. However, if the experience of Easter doesn’t change how we think and live, then what is the point?

Following Jesus isn‘t always comfortable, easy, or on occasion, attractive. This was clear in the time of Jesus when many people found his message so hard to accept.  Jesus taught thousands of people, fed the five thousand from only five loaves and two small fish, and performed many other miracles.  But if you think about it, how many of those people actually became disciples and followers of Jesus?  Not very many! It could be suggested that the majority of them were “fans,” enthusiastic admirers; not disciples. They were coming to Jesus for what they could comfortably handle, but when Jesus spoke the hard teachings …..... many turned away and no longer followed him.

And so I ask the question again, “After Easter, what now?” The message of Easter is not an easy message. Yet this is the message Jesus gives to us as the message of salvation.  He says…”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Therefore the answer to the question, “Now what?” is that we should embrace the way of the cross because this is what separates fans from disciples. This involves developing a strong relationship with Jesus through mediation, prayer and reading of the scriptures. 

As I realise the implications of the answer to the question, I sigh deeply knowing that this cannot possibly be done in our own strength.  All that we can do is to listen closely to the still small voice of God in the words of Jesus himself.

“5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15)

Challenging thoughts indeed, but they are an integral part of the Christian’s walk in life.  Even though we celebrate Easter once a year, we really should celebrate His resurrection every day of our lives. May God grant us the courage and strength to do this as we continue on the journey of faith. 

God bless

Reverend Dave