Alleluia is the Easter word, the word of joy! Over the three days when we celebrate the Last Supper, the death of Jesus and the Resurrection, there are many words read in church. Sometimes a few words stand out and the stand-out words for me this year were ‘do not be afraid’. Words said first by the angel to the women at the tomb of Jesus and then said by Jesus to us, ‘do not be afraid’. To choose not to remain in a state of fear often means that, instead of relying on ourselves completely, we put our trust in someone else. Jesus accepts this trust; he makes it possible because his Resurrection means that our hope is not in vain. This is the source of the peace and joy of Easter, the new life expressed in the gift of chocolate eggs.
This year we celebrate Easter at the same time as our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Christian tradition. They have a lovely Easter greeting which they use when meeting other Christians, one which captures the meaning of the feast and one which states the source of all our hope. The greeting is ‘Christ is Risen’ and the response is ‘He is Risen Indeed! Much richer than a mere ‘Happy Easter’. So to all of you ‘Christ is Risen’.