Homily for the Service of Light – Easter Saturday

On Easter Saturday there is, for me at least, that sense of emptiness when the events of Good Friday are reflected upon. Yesterday, we entered into the cruelty and barbarism of humankind against Jesus over 2000 years ago culminating in his crucifixion and death. Darkness, gloom and despair and we experience so much over the Easter Triduum; we may have started today with an unknowingness and perhaps may have entered into the sandals of the disciples as they tried to put things together and to understand what Jesus was about, and how they must have felt. After the crucifixion, they would have gone over and over in their minds all that they had seen and heard of Jesus.
We know what happens, and why he had to die. Jesus died a violent death on the cross to free us from our sins and our misdemeanours, and we know that he overcame death and assures us of eternal life. His resurrection confirms that love always wins and that God loves us unconditionally, and sometimes that may feel hard to accept.
In our baptisms, we are turned around to begin again, we experience metanoia, and become cleansed from our sins. In Resurrection there are new beginnings and hope and we can emerge from our own tombs freed from the things we have done wrong once we acknowledge them and start afresh. We are part of Christ and in baptism as Paul in Romans reminds us we who are baptized into Christ are also buried with him in death, so that as Christ was raised by God, we too may walk in newness of life.
Baptism is part of our identity as Christian people, and although many of us here were probably baptised when a baby or young child, it was at that point that Christ’s life, death and resurrection became part of us. It is the fine print written in water that reminds us that we abide in Christ and he in us and it is in John’s Gospel that he tells us to “Abide in my
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love.” We become part of one spiritual family and as disciples of Jesus we are assured of his closeness in times of joy, sadness and challenge. We may sometimes struggle with our discipleship and we may feel that we do not always tick all the boxes for being a perfect Christian but the first disciples struggled too and we need to be aware of that. But this evening as we reaffirm our baptismal vows, we are assured of God’s love, forgiveness and grace as we step out as his children of light as Easter people.