Ministers letter May 2020 Deacon Richard Beckett
I write this just a few days after the day some churches refer to as ‘Low Sunday’. It’s a peculiar name for the Sunday which follows Easter Day and there are various reasons as to why it is named this way including the fact that it is a huge contrast to the high day of Easter celebrated the previous week on Easter Sunday.
It might suggest that a week after the resurrection of Jesus was a ‘low’ day for the disciples. Although it is difficult to determine time scales sometimes from the gospels, one week after the resurrection according to John’s gospel we find the disciples again gathered together behind locked doors, as they had been on the evening of Easter day. (John chapter 20, verses 19 and 26)
Now why would they be behind locked doors again? The first time it was for fear of the Jews and perhaps we can assume the doors were locked for the same reason one week later. Its surprising perhaps that the disciples were still fearful especially after Jesus appearance to them the week before. But perhaps like many of us their fears did not dispel quickly. They needed convincing over and over again and Jesus words of “Peace be with you” were not just a civil greeting but an impartation of the Holy Spirit given again and again.
If there were ‘low’ emotions around the Sunday following the first Easter Day it was only because the message of the resurrection took a while to sink into the disciple’s minds and lives.
In the lives of Christians there is no ‘Easter season’, there is only an ‘Easter Life’. For the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we do not celebrate Easter for just a short while but for ever. This is true whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, whether we feel overcome with fear for our own safety or the safety of others, whether we fear for our own health or that of others. The symbol of the locked door is a powerful one but it never locks the resurrected Jesus out!
We are living through challenging times but my prayer is that wherever you find yourself at the moment or whatever situation you are in you will know that Easter Life for yourself .
Strength is there, I only have to use it.
Joy is there, I only have to feel it.
Peace is there, I only have to find it.
God’s spark is there, I only have to light it.
Knowledge is there, I only have to know it.
Truth is there, if only I’ll believe it.
God’s power is there, I can take it or can leave it.