Easter Hope


In our living room at home we have a painting of Avenham Park in Preston done by an amateur artist called Charles Kenworthy.  (Charles was a friend of Peter’s late Great Auntie May.) Curiously, although the painting is of trees in autumn, it also makes me think of Easter.  Why?  Well Avenham Park is one of the places where eggs are rolled down the slopes of the hills every Easter Monday.  In the past these were traditional decorated boiled eggs but now are often of the chocolate variety!  Egg rolling is a big tradition in Preston going back hundreds of years.  Who knows where this tradition began but the celebration continues and often on a sunny day, according to Preston City website, you can expect crowds of 40,000 people.  (There are lots of other attractions as well as egg rolling.)


Someone once said that Easter Monday is the most critical day of the Christian year because it marks a new beginning of our life journey as Easter people in the light and power of the resurrection.  We cannot come to church on Easter Sunday and let the Easter message change nothing for us.  Rather than risk the possibility of slipping into indifference towards the message of God's love made known to us through the events of Holy Week and Easter day, we should actively continue to celebrate and work at changing our lives for the better.  Just as the Easter Gospel tells us that the stone was rolled away from the tomb to allow God’s love out, we should roll away the stones from the tombs in our own lives which block God’s redeeming light and love flooding in us and through us.


We are people self-imprisoned in all kinds of tombs. Those of sin, those of materialism, those of indifference and those of suffering. We are trapped by sin, trapped by the desire to possess more stuff and be influenced by the materialism of the world. We are trapped by doubt and suffering. Perhaps we are trapped by the fear of failure or trapped by the monotony and the despair of life. We can be trapped physically, mentally and spiritually. Jesus comes to us, as he came to Mary. As we cower in our own tombs so he comes to help us roll away the stones and to allow his light and love to pour in. And so by doing he gives to us new life, new hope and new possibilities, as individuals, in our homes and families, in our places of work and leisure and in the world. The message of Easter is one of hope for us all.


A friend of mine has the following quote at the end of every email he sends.


“To hope is a duty, not a luxury.  To hope is not to dream but to turn dreams into reality.  Happy those who have the courage to dream dreams and who are ready to pay the price so that dreams take shape in other people's lives.”  (Cardinal Suenens)


With my prayers for a joy-filled, love-filled and hope-filled Easter time.


Yours Carol