The Paradox of Easter
By Rev. Dr Katherine Rainger, Senior Chaplain
PreK to Year 2 students at Radford College experience a Godly Play lesson each week. One of the Godly Play stories, The Seven Faces of Easter, includes two age-appropriate images which are placed back-to-back to represent Jesus as both crucified and risen, like two sides of the same coin.
This simple visual resource contains a profound theological claim. In the midst of the celebratory Easter season, we remember that Christ still bears the scars of the wounds he endured. Conversely, Sundays are not counted in the forty days of Lent, their marker as the day of resurrection and celebration remains (a fact that my Goddaughters like to be reminded of in their annual fast from chocolate during Lent – Sundays are a reprieve!).
The sense of paradox that is deep within the Christian faith is with us in profound ways at the moment. On the one hand, we are grateful for the acts of service by medical staff and the creativity and love that has been evident in our communities. At the same time, the costs in terms of lives lost, grief experienced, and financial stress is a cause for deep lament.
A few weekends ago, I attended the Yarra Valley Writer’s Festival, from the comfort of my Iounge room. The ten-hour live stream consisted of multiple sessions and was very successful. The organisers had taken a risk and it had paid off. In the words of Brook Powell, festival director, “We’ve done what we were meant to do.”
In a similar fashion, staff at Radford College and elsewhere keep teaching, parents keep caring, public servants keep serving, scientists keep researching, artists keep creating and businesses are working hard to stay afloat. Activists keep calling us to account and making us aware of the needs of the world.
At 4pm last Friday, student activists held the ‘Schools Strike For Climate Online’. Common Grace, a Christian organisation, held a National Online Prayer Gathering for the creation and climate immediately prior to the Strike for Climate. Radford Year 12 student and Chapel Captain, Zoe Malone, was one of the pre-recorded speakers at the Common Grace event. She spoke about her artwork titled Implicatory Denial and her commitment to personal action. Zoe concluded by praying for change in the ways that we relate to the world that God has given us.
There is wisdom in acknowledging our limitations. We cannot transfer every experience to an online platform and think this makes things ‘normal.’ The Easter Season, however, is a reminder that the risen Christ is with us, inviting us to take a risk. Inviting us to be agents of love, healing, beauty, wisdom and justice in ways that connect and enhance life for all.