Living Faith: Why Easter is time for a clear-out and starting anew

At home the garden is getting a makeover. Dead wood, rotting leaves and piles of rubbish have been cleared to reveal spring bulbs aplenty, just bursting into bloom. It is a new beginning, and I see this same message in every garden and park in our wonderful city.

In another time and in another garden, Mary Magdalene bumped into a man she thought was the gardener. She asked him where her best friend was, and Jesus only need to say just one word: her name.

The irony is that Mary is right. Jesus is indeed the gardener – in a way – of the New Creation. The old garden had become overgrown with thickets of obscure religious practices, weeds of injustice and great brambles of despair.

Leading by example
When people were baying for his blood, Jesus took a bowl of water, wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the feet of his disciples. It was an act of humility and tenderness transcending the daily and trivial.

In a last meal, he took the ordinary elements of bread and wine and made them a meal to remember – a symbol to reconnect us to God and to each other, to strive for justice, and to build the kingdom of God.

And what happened when Jesus rose from the dead that first Easter morning was that the world was given a whole new start.

Regenerative resurrection
That’s why the resurrection is still such an explosive force in today’s world. Every part of human existence is affected by this new creation. The worlds of politics, arts, science, technology, economics, the legal system … just about everything is up for resurrection.

The message of Easter is simple. It brings a new lease of life to entities that appear dead and buried. It is the challenge to a new way of living that renews, recreates and regenerates life and love.

A time to celebrate
So don’t be tempted to dispose of Easter together with the foil wrap from the Easter eggs. It is a season and event of such magnitude in the Christian calendar that the church celebrates it for 50 days!

May you, like Mary, recognise Jesus amid life’s mess. May you see transformation in all that is awry and experience the joys of the season. If we but work at it, just like the budding bulbs in my garden, the best is yet to be. And when Easter comes on April 21, may you with others throughout the world, shout “Alleluia! Christ is risen”.

Happy Eastering everyone!