Posted by: duncandrews | April 27, 2009

A disturbing experience

Easter Sunday should be full of joy, right? The great moment of God’s triumph; the inauguration of his new creation in the risen lord, Jesus; the day that with fills us with a living, imperishable, undefiled, kept-in-heaven hope.


Which is why it was so disturbing as we headed off on our morning walk on Easter Sunday to pass more homeless, down and out, disturbed and lonely people than we ever have on our usual route. The experience was jarring, and I felt a genuine tension between it and what I thought I should have been feeling on this morning of all mornings.

Jesus is risen – and yet my elderly friend Neil is terminally ill and in constant pain.
Jesus is risen – and yet right there in front of me is the unwashed, incontinent beggar too ashamed to look up.
Jesus is risen – and yet across the road staggers the perpetually drunk and disturbed man fumbling out nonsense and obscenities.

So, instead of feeling joyful at the great victory of God, I felt sad. I felt sad about a lot of things. I felt sad for these and the other lonely, desperate, suffering people I passed. I felt sad for such distortion of humanity. I felt sad at my own inaction.

But there was one thing I felt glad about. This Easter, when I said ‘the Lord is risen’, it wasn’t in a triumphalist, self-medicating, pat-ourselves-on-the-back kind of way that perhaps I’ve said it before. It was in deep hope that the real terror of this world will certainly be fixed. It was in hope ‘that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.’ (Rom 8:21)

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