Finding hope this Easter

Published by Newman University on

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As I’m sure you are aware, Easter is around the corner, with the Easter break from teaching starting from Friday. What follows first is Holy Week, a week when the Christian Church marks, remembers, and prays its collective way through the betrayal, arrest, trial, death and in due course resurrection of Jesus i.e. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. It is on the face of it a truly harrowing story. We hear accounts of jealousy, violence, hurt, self-protection, and injustice and in those accounts have reminders of how whatever the contexts or eras, the human condition still maintains an almost infinite capacity and ability to exhibit these traits. A quick flick through the news will demonstrate this, as even today we grapple with war, violence, jealousy, and the associated pain, and we also see the pain and struggle that many of us go through to simply survive each day.

These traits are a really important part of the Easter story, and it is important that we don’t shy away from them, as it is important that we witness to all that is happening in our world today. For it is in the experience of these traits, in the fact that Jesus endures, suffers and feels all the scars and pain that I can find the glimmer of hope and the beginnings of relationship.

The hope is that this pain and suffering is not all that life is about. The hope is that even in the reality of the pain and suffering there is possibility, there is love and there can spring a future.

In the Christian story the future starts in what we mark on Easter Sunday, in the belief that Jesus who endures all this, can emerge from his tomb and show us that there is more, that there is life. It is the belief in this resurrection, this display, of what can still feel an unfathomable outcome, of life after death that can turn everything on its head.

 

Jesus

I’m not seeking to explain the mystery that is the resurrection, however I can share that this belief is for me a source of hope and a source of a personal relationship with God, with Jesus. I find the hope located in the acknowledgement that there are times of pain and suffering and there are also times of joy and celebration. This hope helps me to hang in there in the times of trial and to properly relish the times of joy. This hope helps me to witness to the pain of our world and work and pray for a better future.

Then when I reach Easter Sunday, and I ,and we know there still lies ahead of us Easter Week, may each of us pause and consider the reasons for hope and celebration that can be found in our own stories, that can be found even in the midst of the pain of our world. As you find this hope, may you find ways to share and truly savour it. For as we come the conclusion of the 40 days of Lent, we in turn move into a time of 50 days of Easter celebrations it is the hope that enables us to celebrate life and I hope you find ways to enjoy these.

If you have your own story of hope in the midst of pain and trials do feel free to share it with me at m.holland@newman.ac.uk.
– Margaret Holland, Newman University Chaplain –

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