May The Lord Be Ever Present
One of the strangest manifestations in the Western Church, i.e. Both Catholic and Reformed, is the fact that we only ever celebrate and realise Easter Faith at Eastertide. We seem to limit our meditation and contemplation of the Resurrection to Eastertime alone; and as for “new life” and “the life to come” we similarly self-limit. The hymns and songs of our Easter faith reign for only six or seven short weeks. Other seasons especially Christmas are long anticipated and long celebrated. Yet if there were no Resurrection there would be no Christmas. In a strange and paradoxical sense – Easter comes first!
This forgetfulness indicates that we have lost all understanding of the value and reality of every Sunday. Every Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is an Easter day even in the middle of Lent. The Sabbath of the Jews [Saturday] celebrates God’s rest after creation whereas the Lord’s Day, the Christian festival, celebrates the Resurrection of the Lord.
For Christians, the Resurrection is the one glorious fact on which all worship and all life is founded. The Christian faith and its Church cannot survive unless there is a return to the seminal reality of the Resurrection.
Life is met when we live our faith in the Risen Lord. If we believe that Jesus is risen and living, then it follows that all life is lived in his presence. This means that we are never alone as Christians. Our efforts, sorrows, joys and temptations are lived with him, alongside him.
Similarly, Easter faith allows us to meet death, for Jesus, our brother, friend and companion, lived and died and is alive for evermore. He conquered death. The presence which is with us in life stays with us in death and even beyond its horizons into eternity.
Paschal faith must inhabit our thoughts not only in this one Easter season but in every moment of our Christian lives. In the end we live and die and live again, for wherever he is – we are.
May the Lord be ever present!