There’s a today every day of the week

Sermon preached at Evensong, Christ the Servant, Stockwood, Bristol on Easter Day, 18 April 1976

[This sermon is unusually long and declamatory for my father’s style. I have omitted a couple of phrases which are in parentheses in the manuscript, as if he had edited the sermon and cut them. They add nothing of substance to what is reproduced here. – SJC]

Ring the bells! Sing the hymns! All is joy and praise today! Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Look at the spring flowers, the bubbles and sun. Death has been swallowed up into life!

All this is fantastic! Great! Fabulous!

But how long will it last? Why does it seem that by the time you get to Low Sunday (next week) you are feeling low yourself, a bit flat. Bit of an anti-climax; like the moment after the big bang at the end of the firework display.

You can be deeply moved by the Easter hymns, get caught up with the rush and excitement of Easter (after all, this is no stately walking occasion – the disciples ran away from the tomb), but when you get home, you find that life is much the same humdrum affair as it was before.

Some people find that Easter is something that the churches get all excited about, and feel they ought to join in; but are really untouched by it. That’s the Martha way. No less true, not lacking in faith, looking forward with anticipation to that promise.

Then Jesus speaks.

Look. Resurrection is for today and every day. It is for you and for everybody. Look. Look. Open up your heavenly eyes and see me.

I AM THE RESURRECTION. I AM LIFE.

Read More »

The beloved disciple

Sermon preached at St Michael’s Church (unspecified service and location), 16 April 1995 (Easter Day)

For Christians, Easter is the supreme festival. The churches are decorated with flowers, the bells ring, and in some country parishes the choir surplices get their annual wash!

What is being proclaimed is that all that separates and injures and destroys has been overcome with healing, unity and creation. It could be easy to become overwhelmed with the headiness of it all…

St Augustine said, “we are an Easter people, and ‘Alleluia’ is our song.”

But I can’t think of anything as half-hearted and wet as an Anglican ‘Alleluia’ – perhaps I’ve been in the wrong places.

I’m aware that there are those for whom the festival means only tearful children, traffic jams snarled up on the A30, and the desperation of “we’re here to enjoy ourselves” (with grim determination) and there are four days in which to do it. I think that there are Christians, too, for whom the prospect of forty days of celebration is a muddled marathon.

Where there is resurrection the Eternal Word is spoken. But what does this mean?Read More »