Throughout Easter week the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, is delivering her Prayer for the Day on BBC Radio 4. In her second prayer, today Bishop Rachel reflects on the Easter message of new possibility.
Easter Monday, 28 March 2016
Over the past 10 months I have said many goodbyes. As I left London after 21 years of ministry, there were lots of moments of farewell to people who it was painful to leave. Since arriving in Gloucester last September I have already said goodbye to key members of staff moving on to new posts.
And in all of these goodbyes there has been sadness, and a sense of wistfulness; and yet there has also been a sense of expectation about the future. There has been that tension between clinging on and letting go.
Yesterday was Easter Day and on that first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene, a friend of Jesus, stood weeping by his grave. She had come to make her final farewell but what she discovered is that his body which had been placed in the tomb three days earlier had now disappeared.
And as she stands weeping, a man who she thinks is the gardener speaks to her. In fact, it turns out to be Jesus, risen from the dead. And in those moments of ecstatic joy Mary clings to him.
I suspect she dared to imagine that life could go back to how it once had been – and she clung to Jesus and all that she had known and longed for once again.
But Jesus gently tells her to let go. There will indeed be good things ahead but life will not be as it had been. Life will be different.
In the embrace of a goodbye there is an embracing of new possibility.
God of new beginnings, at the start of this new day may we not cling to the past but dare to embrace new possibility. Amen