“I have come that you may have life, and may have it in all its fullness” John 10:10
This time of year presents us with three calendar landmarks. The clocks go forward, All Fools Day ushers in April (though this year understandably passing almost unnoticed) and, depending on the phases of the moon, comes Easter. Each in its way takes us to an important area of life: time, eternity and living to the full.
We know all about time. For some of us there is not enough of it to fit in all the things we have to do (let alone the ones we want to) and for others – especially those who live alone – it can hang so heavy. But for all of us it marches on and gives us a rhythm for each day, as well as demanding deadlines to meet.
Then Easter comes to take us to another sphere. It is the culmination of the story. God became human to show us what it is to live the perfect life he always intended for us. Though Jesus was put to death, to the delight and relief of some but to the devastating grief of his close followers, he shattered death’s bonds and appeared among them in glorious new life, never to tread that path again. How much we shall miss being together this year (despite the best efforts of IT to provide an alternative) to join in the joyful shout after the sombre days of Holy Week: “The Lord is risen; he is risen indeed. Alleluia!”
And All Fools’ Day? Those of us from a particular generation may well remember the great spaghetti farm hoax broadcast by Richard Dimbleby on the radio, but we have probably all at some time been the victim (or perpetrator) of some gentle trick on a relative or friend, only to laugh together about it when the truth is revealed. Living is a serious business, particularly at the moment, but not always to be taken too seriously. How much poorer we should be if we did not celebrate the gift of a healthy sense of humour.
Christian teaching puts a high value on all these three. May we live and delight in the world God created, with its cycles of time and seasons, and use them well. May we live in the joyful assurance that when the clocks stop for us, through the grace of Jesus we may enter his new life unendingly. May we always enjoy that fullness and balance of life which celebrates the wonderful way in which God has made us and especially those moments of lightness that sustain us along the way.