Easter Sunday – Joy and Uncertainty

An Easter Sunday reflection in 2 parts…


There are several different stories of the resurrection in what has become our scripture
Our reading from Luke is just one of them
In the different biblical stories,
not one person bounces back with our practiced church response
“He is Risen indeed” when first told “He is Risen”

Nobody expects the Resurrection
Or, as Monty Python would say, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”

There is the way that the world works – the certainties of death and taxes
and just at the moment, even what is going on with taxes is a little uncertain.
But death is certain.
And if the dead don’t stay dead, what can you count on

So, if you think the whole resurrection idea is crazy – I am SO pleased
If you think the resurrection is just wonderful, & there is nothing to be questioned
Please go back and have another go at it.

If you are one who thinks that at the heart of the story,
at the core part of this faith tradition
there is something you are a bit unsure of, then you are in absolute good company

Luke says that when the women came back to the rest of the disciples,
they regarded their message as an “idle tale.”
That’s our English translators being really polite.

The Greek work leros. It’s the root of our word “delirious.”
So in short,
those disciples considered what the women said was crazy, nuts, utter nonsense.

When we finish the service today and sing “Yours is the glory”,
we’ll be singing 2 verses, but not the third.
I can’t ask a group of people to sing “No more we doubt you”
It’s a bad verse.  Bad theology.  A hymn writer that got carried away.

Resurrection throws us off balance – or at least it should.
It upsets the apple cart, and generally turns our neat and orderly lives totally out of whack.

Which is why I think that if you dont find resurrection at least a little hard to believe,
you probably arent taking it very seriously

I could list dozens, hundreds of reasons
why the message of resurrection doesn’t make sense

I could put up picture after picture of people and scenes from across the world
to point out how and why the resurrection doesn’t make sense.

But there is still something that nags at me.
There is still something that just keeps kicking.

I don’t believe that Easter is about taking on the Tinker Bell theory of faith,
where we all say often enough and loud enough
            I do believe in fairies, I do believe in fairies”
“If you believe hard enough in the resurrection then it will be true”
It doesn’t work for us to get together
and close our minds (or turn off our brains) and just wish it all into reality.

And yet there is still something that nags at me.
There is still something that just keeps kicking.
There is still sign, time after time, of life beyond death instead of death beyond life
There is still sign, time after time, of hope beyond despair
There is still sign, time after time, of the path out of the Darkwoods
and signs that life’s darkest trees  are fruiting with easter eggs instead of poisoned apples

Yes there are questions.
Yes there are doubts.
Yes there are abundant uncertainties

With the unanswered questions of life, the girl in the artwork dances anyway.
Sometimes joy is just worth celebrating, without necessarily understanding it .



John Emmett:  “Easter’s Dark Wood Question”

We have this question
now that the Dark Woods gifts have been offered,
and we are emerging into the enlightenment of Christ’s resurrection day.

What are we to do with these Dark Wood gifts?

We are familiar with signs and symptoms of our human condition…
Uncertainty, unawareness, mis-fitting, lostness, emptiness…

Looking back, we realize God’s Christly gifts,
come to us in the disorder of this Lenten Dark Woods journey.

We played in the Lenten promise of these gifts,
rising now,
from fresh immersion in God’s Easter re-creation story.

The former orderliness
of certainty, predictability, security
that brought us to the Dark Woods seems dark and disorderly –
in the dissenting light of God’s Easter gift.

Can we go back,
Will we return to our past selves,
to endure more restless wilderness wandering?

What are we to do with these Dark Wood gifts?

This holy morning face-to-face with Easter’s holy revelation,

Christ’s cruciform love dares us to reorder
our hearts,
our minds,
our hands;
accepting God’s gifts that awaits our turning;

Inviting the gifts to open us, compassionately invading our hearts,
renewing and filling our minds,
lovingly redirecting our hands.

Only then do God’s gifts
Reform, reorder and transform us. 

What are we to do with these Dark Wood gifts?

The Lord of the Church says:
“Come, all is done. Receive these gifts.”

Now, freed by love divine
to move from the dark of the woods
to Easter’s vibrant colours,
the God of Jesus’ embraces us.
Christ’s Easter-faith vision captures us
God’s companion Spirit empowers us.

The question is resolved.
We can move onward –
daring God’s loving embrace
confident in Christ’s resurrection faith;
joining the Spirit’s enthusiasms –
collaborators all in God’s new order.


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