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The Easter story brings new life, new hope

Norwich teacher, Ruth Lilley, explains how the hope of new life promised by the Easter story has helped her to avoid being held back by dwelling on past events.

I tend to have a habit of defining my life as ‘before’ and ‘after’ - Before the event that seemed to cause my life to fall apart, and after that event. It might be that for many of us right now, we can also define our lives as before and after, especially with the effect that Covid has had on all of our lives.
At this time of year we celebrate Easter, an event which very much demonstrates a before and after. We see the sadness and darkness of Jesus’ death, but this is soon replaced by the light, joy and newness of Easter Sunday. The hope that Jesus had risen and defeated the darkness.
This year, Celebrate Norwich and Norfolk are staging the Passion Play on Easter Saturday April 16. This is a live retelling of the story of Easter, which will happen in the city centre, and will be an amazing opportunity to see what happened and the significant impact Jesus had on the lives of those around Him.
I imagine that, on the Friday when Jesus died, His friends must have been distraught and felt that nothing would be the same again. A feeling that I can identify with, and maybe plenty of us can associate with this feeling too. In that moment, I wonder if His friends felt so desperately lost, because they would have had no idea of the joy that was only days away.
Going back to my “Before and After” habit - I believe that habits can be either helpful or unhelpful, and I realise that this is one of those unhelpful habits that needs to be broken.
If I look at the events in my life through the light of Easter, I can see a much brighter picture. When something significant happens, there can be the thought pattern that causes you to define yourself by the event. For me, this thought pattern has been a hindrance. Whereas if I change my perspective and live in the hope of Easter, I choose life.
As I place my trust in this hope, I know that I am loved and that every single step I take in the ‘after’ is covered by love. Sometimes, my heart has been so heavy, it has felt almost impossible to take that next step. Yet, if I can hold on to the freshness, the newness that Jesus brought on that first Easter Day, I am no longer defined by my viewpoint.
I am no longer ‘before’ or ‘after’. So, then comes a beautiful simplicity which means that each new step I take can be exciting, new and covered by amazing grace and love.

The image above is from pixabay.com

ruth starkings 150CFRuth Lilley teaches at an infant school in Norwich. She also enjoys writing, and writes a regular blog called ‘With Every Sun Comes A New Day.’


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