Alecia Greenfield
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Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

John 20:17


In a world of distractions and choices, options and solutions all seeking to make our lives easier, sometimes the work we are called to do is what is right in front of us, rather than getting wrapped up in what comes next. Easter is a lot like that, in that while we have been here before, sometimes we don’t actually let the work of joy present in this moment wash over us in an experiential way. Which is something Jesus reminds Mary Magdalene of in our scriptural account of the resurrection as well.

 In the whole time Mary and Jesus knew each other, their relationship was like ours. They saw each other often, shared meals, and generally enjoyed the ease of connection in a confusing world. Death, however, was always the final point of no return and Mary’s whole being wanted nothing more than a return to what was- an intimacy of friendship with her Lord in an experiential way by holding onto the physicality of the body. However, that was no longer possible- God had something new in store, there was something afoot, the world had changed, and it was Mary who not only received the first reminder of that, but was tasked with going out to share it with the known world via the disciples. Something we are asked to do this Easter as well.

 The last two years have been an experience which may have felt like a death. We have all lost something, physically, menatally, and emotionally, during this pandemic, and in many ways we may be seeking to cling onto the body of what we left in March 2020, because that life made sense. Yet that life, that body, is gone. Christ is risen, and is calling for us not to hang onto what was, but to embrace what is. Which is the joyful act of community, community whose purpose is to love the neighbour as we love ourselves. 

The way we make and form community here is an important witness to the easter narrative. For over 69 years we have come to this place to make memories, bless, baptise, and bury. We have been transformed by all those who travelled alongside us in this place, learning and growing together in the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose purpose for us is to seek and serve our neighbour, just as Christ served us. But this work is not without risks, without worries, and without challenges. Opening ourselves to the transformation of the resurrection is a risk because it means we need to change how we think, how we act, and how we walk along the road of faith together as the needs of the world and our neighbours change. But the anchor of it all remains the call of Easter morning, to not hold on- but go, tell, and experience life in Christ. A life like no other!

 I invite you to share this invitation and our Easter Services with your friends and neighbours to join in building community in Christ’s name in this neighbourhood, as we seek to serve, feed, visit, and stand with Christ in the other together. As you reflect back on the gift of this community in your life and the presence of Christ in the midst of those you continue to meet and grow with here, please consider making a financial gift in thanksgiving for the new life of Easter that is living among you today. Your gift helps us continue the legacy of our founders to serve this neighbourhood with the passion and love of Christ in our lives.

 Do not hold onto me, Christ says to Mary, but go and tell your neighbours that the world has changed forever because of what you have just seen. Death no longer has the final word on life. God is not done with us yet. Life is renewed, and we are asked to share that life with the world by continuing the work of building community in the most unlikely of places, like the cross and tomb of new life, with God.

Christ is not here. He has risen! Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia!