Notre Dame and Easter - April 21st, 2019
Last night my phone buzzed and there was a notification that Notre Dame Cathedral had caught fire. I put the news on and watched for the next two hours, transfixed and mesmerised like many others by the flames that were engulfing a place I had never been to. People were watching from the banks of the Seine, horrified and silent, powerless to stop the conflagration.
I was struck by the impact this was having on people whether they were Christian or not, Parisian or not, French or not. They were simply amazed at what had happened, caught by something they were not prepared for and which had hit them unawares.
It’s Holy Week but I don’t want to make any silly comments about might be God’s purposes in this, nor make any link between resurrection and the restoration of the Cathedral. I am just struck by the reality that when people are truly amazed it runs much deeper than we might expect. And that is something right at the heart of the Easter experience. The disciples were not geared up for resurrection. They had been powerless to help Jesus. They had just watched from the sides as events took their course. They were probably overwhelmed by the speed of events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion but it was what happened on Easter Sunday that took them completely by surprise.
This Easter we stand alongside those who are amazed whether in Paris or Jerusalem.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
Lord, today we are amazed at what has happened. We are amazed by the scenes in Paris and we are amazed by the very Gospel we proclaim. Sometimes we get stopped in our tracks. As we get moving we want you to be our driving force.