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He is risen indeed

| Simon Bale | Vicar's Blog

It’s an early start on Sunday. It will be the third Easter Sunrise service I’ll have taken in the benefice and the third at the top of the Mump. The first is shown in the image above. It was quite a moment. I recall I was standing with my back to the rising sun, reading from John’s Gospel. I became aware that nobody was listening to me (a common experience) but were gazing open mouthed at the beauty of our local star poking its fiery rays above Aller Hill. I stopped and turned and gave up with John. Even the words of the evangelist were feeble before such astronomical beauty. I eventually continued and we all revelled in the combined presence of the burning orb and the words of the Gospel reminding us that Jesus Christ has risen today. We chatted about how our small selves stood at the top of a small hill in Somerset as all but feeble and insignificant against that kind of back drop: astronomy and scripture.

Then, a year later, we did the same again. This time there were a few more ciliary clouds in the morning sky and a little less frost on the ground, but the effect was still pretty striking. We stood still and we saw ourselves again as a gathering of specks upon a small blue dot 93 million miles from the burning ball, and we thought about the risen Christ, once more reminding us of the glory of God.

This Sunday morning I shall be there again, guitar in hand, singing, “Jesus Christ is risen today! Alleluia!” and it will be as new and as important and as significant as it was every other day I have done so as a confessing Christian. Join me?

It will be the culmination of Holy Week. It will be the first gasp of fresh air after the sorrow of Good Friday. It will be the bright abundant joy of recognising that however failed I consider myself I can face anew the beauty of God’s love.

If the sun shines, having no alternative, on the nothing new then I shall be there to celebrate. If the clouds obscure the view, then I shall still celebrate. Whatever the world throws at me that day, I shall celebrate the newness, the daily newness of a resurrected God who loves and is loved and is love.