On Good Friday we received a small package containing an old French crucifix we had bought on eBay. It was tarnished and dingy, but a little work soon revealed the beauty underneath (the photo does not do it justice). We had intended hanging the crucifix in our garden chapel, but we liked it so much we have hung it inside the house, where it gleams brightly amid the gloom of one of our workrooms. In a way, it epitomizes the Easter story. From betrayal and brutal death God has wrought a miracle of redemption and given us new life in Christ. Sometimes we see only the ugliness and horror; at others, only the beauty and majesty; but both are there, held together in a divine tension. Just as we can say, analogically, that Christ hangs eternally upon the Cross, so we can affirm that he is eternally risen; and there is something of the same in our own lives.
Today the Church sings alleluia from dawn till dusk. Our churches and chapels are a riot of colour, flowers, incense and music. Joy tumbles out on every side. But in the midst of that joy there is also pain and suffering. We think of the Syrian evacuees bombed on their way to safety, the starving children of Yemen or South Sudan, the friend or neighbour struggling with grief or illness. Somehow, in ways we can never fully understand, the joy and the grief are made one, redeemed. The precious wounds on Christ’s body are there for all eternity, but for us they have become channels of grace and healing — eternally.
A very happy Easter to you all!