Light in Darkness

by David Browder

This past Easter Sunday was a glorious one at St. Thomas’. Almost two years after the flood, with the church still awaiting renovation, more people worshipped with us than on any other Easter Sunday in my previous five years as Rector. It is clear that we have a bright future here at St. Thomas’

As I was taking this in, our Associate Rector, Geoff Simpson, told me of the horrible attacks on our brothers and sisters in Christ in Sri Lanka. We were sure to include them in our prayers that morning. As I write this, we know that around 320 men, women, and children died. It was sobering to worship on a beautiful and calm Easter morning knowing that so many fellow Christians were devastated and in shock.

I wrote last week about Holy Week as one continuous service, from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, culminating in Easter. As we moved through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, we saw the context for Easter: betrayal, denial, angst, arrest, mob justice, political posturing, cruelty, suffering, and, finally, death and mourning. In that very grim darkness, though, a light is kindled — an unexpected light that shines in the darkness.

In understanding sin and atonement, we, as Christians, have the understanding and categories for what happened in Sri Lanka. We have a tremendous grasp of just how badly wrong this world and our lives can go. In understanding the empty tomb and the defeat of death, we have a Gospel to proclaim in the face of the world’s wrongness. There will be a day when we, as Christians, will be gathered around Our Lord singing His praises together with our martyred brothers and sisters from Sri Lanka — and from everywhere else throughout history. That day is not today; but this day we do have something powerful to share: hope. Thanks to the true story that we remembered and celebrated this past Sunday, we have hope.