Easter’s coming: ‘Buy your Easter Nativity Set’! Bit odd isn’t that, I thought, when I saw them advertised. Nativity means birth. Nativity sets make sense at Christmas. It’s all about the birth of a child. But at Easter? Then I thought again, maybe it does make sense.
In place of the crib and a new-born baby with angels singing and adoring shepherds kneeling, there’s now an empty tomb with awe-struck disciples Jesus looking in. And the angels make another appearance. Blazing with light they say, ‘Don’t look for Jesus among the dead – he’s alive, he’s risen’. Birth at Christmas. New birth at Easter – birth of life out of death, light out of darkness, joy out of despair.
But the tomb, empty as it was, didn’t do it for one of Jesus’ followers. Distraught, she stood at the tomb and wept. Then someone came close to her and called her name, ‘Mary’, and she knew it was true. The one she loved was alive. Death was overcome. Hope rose in her heart.
May hope rise in your heart this Easter and may new life come close to you and speak your name.