Over the last year of lockdowns, of various kinds, the local radio is abuzz highlighting local heroes who have gone that extra mile to meet the desperate need of desperate families. To these people we add our deep sense of thanks and praise for the inspiring examples. Who will forget Captain Sir Tom Moore’s noble endeavours?
We all need such people to help us to step up to the plate and offer our services of love. Whilst I was thinking of this at this Passion and Eastertide Dan Brown's, "The Da Vinci Code" sprang to mind. The star character, you may remember, is Mary Magdalene portrayed as the lover of Jesus of Nazareth. An "earthy" woman loving the Son of God, "God forbid"! This certainly caused offence at the time in certain religious circles though, in a sense, they miss a beautiful and powerful point. At a time of Christ’s desperate need, she, above all, showed her love and concern for him in beautify clarity.
There was no mistaking that Mary did love Jesus and this love enabled her to comfort her Lord before crucifixion, to be with her Lord during his crucifixion, to be there when they laid him in a tomb and to be the first at the tomb that first Easter Sunday to discover it empty. This took courage, for Roman officials often noted those who appeared to be family or friends of the crucified, labelling them as sympathiser and potential troublemakers.
Yet her love does not waiver, she wants to ensure that the presumed stolen body of Jesus receives a decent burial after the custom of her people. Such devotion earns her an unequalled place in history. She is the first to meet the risen Lord and she is his first apostle, representative of the Risen Lord. Oh, that we could love Jesus so well. It is only when we do though, that we become more effective apostles ourselves.
This loving concern raises our care of life and people above the mind-numbing self-centredness that blurs our Christian individual uniqueness. For we are an Easter People with the Easter song to sing aloud “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed”. But we are also a people of the cross which remains a sign of continuous selfless service, “I” crossed out.
Have a good Eastertide.