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THE TA-DA MOMENT

A young Vicar went into the local first school to talk to the children about Easter. He asked the pupils what the first words were that Jesus uttered after the resurrection. The children pondered the question seriously but were slow to give an answer. Then one small girl put up her hand, and enthusiastically responded: “Ta-Da”.

   We don’t know what those first words of Jesus following his rising were, but we can safely say that they were unlikely to have been “Ta-da”, the first recorded use of which took place only in the 1900s.

   The origins of the word appear to have their roots in the attempts to imitate in spoken word the sound of the fanfare flourish a trumpet or similar instrument makes when accompanying the arrival of an important person or moment.

   Ta-da may not have been Jesus’s first words following the resurrection, but in many ways his rising from the dead could be seen as a ta-da moment. Certainly it was the arrival of an important person and heralded an event of significance.

   The resurrection was a moment when the devastation and loss brought about in the crucifixion was transformed into hope and presence for his first followers. And it is a moment that continues to transform the lives of Christians today, because it reveals that God’s life is stronger than death, that no situation is ever completely hopeless.

   The power of the resurrection which so astounded Jesus’s earthly friends in the first century is something that still gives life to Christians today. It is at the heart of our faith.

   The resurrection doesn’t mean we will never face difficult times – all human beings meet them – but it does mean that despair and darkness will never have the final word. There is always something greater and better to come.

   As I write, the Ukrainian conflict rages. Many of us feel powerless to change things; our tears are nothing compared to the suffering of the Ukrainian people. We see what happens when a lust for power by one individual gets out of control and causes mayhem and suffering for millions. Many struggle to believe in a God who allows this kind of destruction to happen.

   But God reigns through consent not oppression. God does not impose power on people but allows freedom of choice – we choose whether we live by love or a lust for power which tramples over anything in its way, by domination or humility, by caring only for ourselves or thinking of others too. When people make bad decisions, then consequences occur which sadly can affect many others.

   It’s not only Christians who behave well, of course, but the resurrection does give us hope that love is greater than hate, light more powerful than darkness and eternal life stronger than death, that one day in God’s time all will be well.

   The ta-da moment of the resurrection can sustain us through truly difficult times. In the crucifixion the early disciples believed that God had let them down and had left them to face the future alone. Through the resurrection their hope was restored. God had not died on the cross, and death was not the end.

   My prayer is that the Easter declaration “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed,” will bring you hope in a dark world and help you trust that evil will never have the final word.

  

Happy Easter to you all.

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