“He is not here; he has risen” (Matthew 28:6)

“…one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection” (Acts 1:22) 

The Holy Week Services are fading into memory. The Easter chocolate stocks are diminishing, the Easter bunny is back in his burrow, the Easter cards are in the recycling bin, the daffodil blooms are bowing over, work and school beckon. Those following the Lectionary will remain focussed on Eastertide for the fifty days up to Pentecost, but for many of us the sermon themes and church programmes have already moved on. 

As my own daily reading has moved on from the Resurrection narratives, I have delved into the Acts of the Apostles. This covers the first 30 or so years after the Resurrection. And I am struck afresh by how fundamental and central the Resurrection is throughout the Acts. The entire function and purpose of the leadership is to witness to the Resurrection (1:22); it is Peter’s Pentecost sermon theme (2:31-32); it is at the core of the apostolic message (4:2,33); it is the constant in Paul’s preaching (17:18,32; 23:6,8; 24:15,21). And I’ve yet to read on into the Epistles where we are constantly reminded that, “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). I am reminded of a quote from Pope John Paul II’s message during a visit to Australia (Nov. 30th, 1986): “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”  

May the wonder and joy of Easter Sunday morning be ours every morning.