May I wish you a very happy Easter as today we celebrate the event that is the very core of the Christian message, the astonishing resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. 

A Christian is a person who believes in and attempts to lead their life in light of the implications of that event. Perhaps that describes you - in which I join in your Halleluiahs today! But perhaps you are cynical that such an improbable, ridiculous thing could possibly be true! Perhaps you even think that those who believe it are gullible idiots. I thought that too thirty years ago but now I cannot see round it.

After Jesus’ arrest and death, the disciples were lost, helpless and afraid. One way or another they all denied him or ran away. It is hard to think of anything other than the resurrection of Jesus that would have led this rather pathetic little group to share the message of Jesus in such a way that it grew into the largest faith movement there has ever been, and continues to flourish more than two thousand years later. Without their unwavering confidence in what they had seen and experienced the disciples would not have risked everything, and in many cases died for their testimony. How many of us would die for a lie?

The fact is that the Church did not create the resurrection stories. The resurrection stories created the church. So let us celebrate the knowledge of God with and for us, the hope of better todays and certainly the hope that goes beyond the grave for all of us because of Easter Day.

Dean Sarah

Banner image: Hereford Passion c. Caroline Potter