Clergy Notes — Third Sunday of Easter, April 14, 2024

I have been thinking much these days, about endings, and about grief, and about the paradox of the Christian life, which is not sheltered from any of the messiness of human experience. We are not given an escape from sorrow, but – through God’s grace – it is always touched gently with hope; with joy.

I have been thinking too, about how often we misunderstand God, even as we long for some experience of God that can comfort us or reassure us that all is well. How, when we do not ‘feel’ like praying, or when we are hurting, or when God seems very far away, it is exactly then that God is most near. Again and again in Scripture, we are given examples of this: particularly right now, in Eastertide. In this transitory space, we are gifted story after story about the Resurrection.

Although today we are able to cry out, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” it is not yet so for the disciples in these stories. For them, it is a time of waiting and uncertainty – they are still feeling lost and afraid and defeated.

The disciples’ sorrow is very real, but so too is the bodily resurrection of Christ, who appears to them again and again, breathing peace upon them, and bidding them touch him – touch his very wounds, as if to say, “the wounds are holy too.” He does not take away their suffering – for some unknown reason, that remains a part of the human experience.

And, alongside the suffering, there is also hope. We have a God who has not abandoned us in the messiness of life: instead, God comes to us right in the middle of it all, and bids us touch the wounds which will touch our own wounds with joy.

Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Mother Amanda

Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday, April 14, 2024.