A Easter message from Bishop Christopher has been broadcast on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and Radio Plus.
Bishop Christopher said:
"Jesus was buried in a garden. Mary Magdalene, weeping outside his tomb, met him there – risen from the dead. But, perhaps with eyes blurred by tears, she thought he was the gardener.
My family and I live in Church property. It comes with a big garden. Since living there, I’ve discovered the joys of vegetable gardening and fruit growing. The rest of the garden, though, is too much for me to look after properly so we asked a gardener to help us.
Although the Garden looked fairly impressive to most people – quite big with lots of green – to her gardener’s skilled eyes it was lifeless: no colour, no scent, no shape – one bush merging into another, the ground covered in dark ivy, thorns everywhere. No new life at all.
She set about clearing it, removing the debris, cutting down what didn’t belong – letting in light and warmth, wind and water. ‘You don’t know what seeds are lying below the surface that will suddenly burst into life’, she said.
It didn’t look very promising to me but this glorious spring the most beautiful ‘Forget me Nots’ have sprung through the surface with a dazzling splash of blue. Roses, hidden for years, are standing tall.
Jesus was very clear that forces of evil were gathering around him to betray him, kill him and bury him in the ground. But he also implored his followers: ‘Forget me not’, for just as surely as God brings the buried seed into new life, so God will raise me up on the third day.
That’s the reality of Easter: the power of God’s light on the Sunday was stronger than the darkness that overwhelmed the world on the Friday.
What is there in your life and my life, buried deep and lifeless, that needs the light, warmth and gentle breeze of God’s love to bring it back to life again? Dreams you’ve abandoned. Hopes you’ve given up on. Relationships you’ve lost.
The gardener whom Mary met on the first Easter morning as she wept in the garden can bring life to your soul on this Easter Day – for he is the risen Son.
May you have a really Happy Easter!"