Today is an Easter Sunday like no other any of us can remember.
Across the world, Christians have celebrated this most special of days in lockdown; unable to go to church (though, by the means of modern technology, church has been able to come to us), unable to go and visit family and friends, and so on.
I’m sure, for many, it has been a day of sombre reflection.
Especially those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19, which now numbers more than 10,000 here in the UK.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who mourn their loss today.
May the God of love and of comfort be with them.
Easter is a day of celebration for all; not just those who are Christian.
And that’s fine, because Jesus wouldn’t want anyone excluded.
But, let’s not seek to remove that humble carpenter from being absolutely central to what this day is.
Let’s also not seek to make Him meek and mild when, although He was certainly that in temperament, in word and in action He was a radical.
He was a revolutionary who was appalled at the status quo of His day.
He sought to upturn the tables of those who’d grown fat and satisfied on the backs of the poorest in society.
He stood with the poor, with the prostitutes, with the marginalised.
With the least, the last and the lost.
He was anti-establishment.
I’m not seeking to claim Him for any one political creed or party, but to deny His radicalism is to deny what this day means.
Why His was the most important human life there ever was or ever will be.
I’m reminded of one of my favourite Christian songs, ‘God of Justice’ by the great Tim Hughes.
‘God of Justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served.
Jesus, You have called us
Freely we’ve received, now freely we will give.’
And the chorus is a call to action for all of us who claim to live for The One who knew every hair on our head before we were even born.
‘We must go, live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken, we must go
Stepping forward, keep us from just singing
Move us into action, we must go.’
This is my Christianity.
A faith-lived life, with a servant heart.
Never in almost all of our lifetimes has that been more needed than now.
I fail at it often, but I know that in Christ I have a Saviour and a friend who doesn’t frown at my failings, but rejoices in when I seek to do better in humble service to Him.
Let us not just sing His name today. Let us not just raise our hands or bow our heads.
Let us step forward.
Let us feed the hungry and stand beside the broken.
And may He forever hold us in the very hollow of His hands.