Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:18

Bishop Libby's Easter Day Dawn Sermon

‘They…fled from the tomb…and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid’

These were brave, tenacious women.

These women had made a choice to follow Jesus and stuck with him when others turned away.

These women supported Jesus, the gospel writer Mark tells us, risking reputation, livelihood and status when others found the costs too high.

These women were watching at the cross: they remained with Jesus to the bitter end, when others had abandoned him.

These women set out to offer the final act of loving service that had been denied him, when others hid in fear of the authorities.

These were brave, tenacious women.

But the empty tomb and news that Jesus has been raised from the dead, undid them. Sometimes, when we are holding ourselves together in the face of risk and fear, of uncertainty and loss, it is goodness that undoes us.

Like these women, many of us will have spent these past days being brave and tenacious – finding depths of determination and perseverance we didn’t know we had. And, truth be told, hiding, even from ourselves perhaps, the extent of our individual and shared trauma.

And it may be goodness that breaks through our protective armour. So, good news may be harder to hear this Easter than most years. But here it is:

You are beloved: precious and honoured in God’s sight,

And nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Jesus, who was crucified has been raised – and wherever you are this morning, whatever you are facing today, whatever you have had to deal with in these past few weeks, whatever the future may hold for you – the risen Jesus is there to meet you.

Those brave, tenacious women were undone by that good news, and

‘They…fled from the tomb…and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid’.

But fear did not, in the end, overcome love.

These woman took heart, literally ‘had courage’, and so the story continued.

Because of these women the story of God’s love continues – and through the centuries that good news has been carried and passed on, until we hear it afresh today:

“Do not be afraid; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here… he is going ahead of you”

So, my prayer, this Easter morning, is that we allow ourselves to be undone by love,

and, even in the midst of our fears, receive the good news of Jesus’ resurrection:

love has conquered death – Jesus is alive.


Last modified on Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:21