john davies
notes from a small curate

    Sorrow and Joy

    Blue Coat School 9/4/2003

    John 20.1-18

    SORROW may remain for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. [Psalm 30.5]

    You might know what that feels like. When you go to bed with problem and wake up thinking of the answer. Or when you end the day arguing with someone and wake up feeling like making up with them. SORROW may remain for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. This could also be a perfect description of what happened at Easter.

    In the Easter story, imagine the transformation between the Saturday night and the Sunday morning, how death turned to life, how despair was replaced by hope, how those closest to Jesus changed from the saddest to the happiest people on earth.

    In the story of God, joy often comes in the morning.
    Remember how God, early in the morning, when the world was young, made life in all its beauty and terror; giving birth to all that we know.

    Remember how, early in the morning, when the world least expected it, a newborn child crying in a cradle announced that God had come among us, that God was one of us.

    Remember how, early in the morning, surrounded by angry crowds, religious leaders, anxious statesmen and silent friends, Jesus accepted the penalty for doing good, for being God: he shouldered and suffered the cross.

    Remember how, early in the morning, a voice in a guarded graveyard and footsteps in the dew proved that Jesus had risen, that he had come back to those and for those who had forgotten, denied and destroyed him.

    That is why, every morning, and especially on Easter morning, in the multi-coloured company of God's Church on earth and in heaven, we can celebrate the creation, and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we can celebrate God's interest in us.

    At Holy Trinity we have an Easter Morning Sunrise Service.
    Because the sun rises at 6.02 am on Easter Day this year we'll be gathering at ten to six. It's a bit early; but it's great to be there, on this special day in the year, to see the morning light break through the sky.

    Watching this happen we can imagine how Mary must have felt as she realised the dark night was over and the light had come back into the world. We can understand even better what it means to say, SORROW may remain for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. We might think about how this has come true in our own lives, how sorrow has been replaced by joy.

    If you think any of this is worth celebrating, maybe you'll remember to get up this Easter Sunday to see the sunrise in.

    (Central section adapted from Lord God, early in the morning, in Wild Goose Resource Group: Stages on the Way, p.184)