United Church of Canada

Aylesford Pastoral Charge

 

 

 

 

Aylesford United Church

PO Box 180, 2414 Highway 1,

Aylesford, N.S.  B0P 1C0

aylesfordunitedchurch@gmail.com

902-847-9624

 

 

 

This year Easter falls on April Fools’ Day, traditionally a time for pulling pranks on the unsuspecting.  That is actually quite appropriate.  One of the earliest Christian interpretations of Easter was that it was a joke which God played on the devil.  

 

Many people believed that Adam and Eve, the ancestors of humankind according to the Book of Genesis, had sold themselves to the devil when they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. The only way their descendants could be set free was for a ransom to be paid to the one who held them captive.  However, God set a trap into which the devil blundered.  Seeing Jesus, whom God had sent to pay the ransom and set us free, the devil sought to destroy him but he reckoned without the fact that this was the holy Son of God over whom he had no power.  He could shed his blood but he could not kill him.  Eagerly, the devil took the bait and instead of ensnaring God’s Beloved in death, he himself was imprisoned.  An early theologian named Gregory of Nyssa said that Jesus was the bait on the fishhook used to catch the devil.  Augustine of Hippo used the analogy of a mousetrap.

 

I’m sure this all sounds rather bizarre to us but, if we are honest, we have to admit that our own attempts to “explain” the Easter mystery are often less than compelling.  Some people like to reduce it to a metaphor for the rebirth that comes with spring.  “Life always follows death, etc.”  The reality is that it is hard to believe that what is dead can live again—either Jesus or any other human being.  I am reminded of what W. H. Auden said in his poem For the Time Being: “Nothing can save us that is possible.  We who must die demand a miracle.”

 

Easter is nothing if not a miracle.  It speaks of God’s power when our power, even our power to imagine, has reached its limits.  It speaks of God’s love undiminished and undefeated when our hearts are broken and our love lies buried in a grave.  It speaks of hope defiant in the face of despair.  It sings with joy that refuses to be silenced.

 

To return for a moment to the imagery of the devil caught on God’s hook, many of us might observe that the devil (or whatever name you want to give to evil) is very much on the loose and flourishing in this world.  On the basis of the evidence, it is often much easier to believe in evil than in good, to believe in the devil than in God.  But for all its fearsome power, evil really is quite fragile.  In order to triumph, it needs us to accept its inevitability, to accept that there is no alternative to the way things are.  The tiniest crack in that certainty makes the whole structure vulnerable and it can be brought down.  It will be brought down.

 

A flower growing through a crack in the pavement seems doomed to wither and die but this is only the beginning.  Those tiny roots, against all odds, will make a space for other life to flourish.  Our faith in God’s resurrection power is like the flower in the pavement.  It is a whole lot mightier than it seems because it trusts the One whose power and love are infinite.

 

Easter is the greatest of the Christian festivals. It is a time for celebration.  It is a time for laughter.  It is a time for astonishment and marveling at the wondrous ways of  God.  Please join us.

 

 

 

Yours in Christ

 

 

(Rev.) John Moses

 

 

 

 

Holy Week and Easter Services

 

March 25  Palm Sunday Service    10:30 am

 

March 28  The Living Last Supper  7:00 pm     (At Kingston United Church)

 

March 29  Maundy Thursday Seder Meal   6:00 pm

 

March 30  Good Friday Service    10:30 am

 

April 1   Sunrise Service  7:00 am      (At the French Cross, Morden)

 

April 1  Easter Celebration Service  10:30 am