Easter is a time when it is easier to be cheerful, with the arrival of primroses, daffodils, and other spring flowers and sunnier weather (in the northern hemisphere anyway).
There is also the message of the church of the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, which I enjoyed hearing afresh this morning.
“Eternal life” is a phrase that we can underestimate, because arguably we cannot understand it anyway. It conveys the meaning of life outside of, unconstrained by, time – not just an everlasting life that goes on forever. If God created, then he also created time, and somehow exists outside it as well as within it – being both the beginning and the end (as the Bible puts it) but more than that. So the gift of eternal life is the invitation to be with him in this way.
Julian of Norwich is famously quoted as saying that “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” This leads to a Christian hope that even if things do not seem well now, it will be O.K. This was one of her “revelations.” However if our life is eternal, then what is a future hope can also be recognised as (present) reality.
So (as Christian writers such as Anthony de Mello put it) not just “all shall be well,” but “all is well”, and we are able to discover this. Such a fresh way of seeing life and experiencing life must be good news, whatever situation we are in.
Here are the related quotes from the Bible.
God has given us eternal life… (1 John 5:11)
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)