In this edition of our A to Z, Lucy Winkett, rector of St James’s Church Piccadilly in Central London, reflects on the Easter story as the central story of Christianity, the story that encapsulates the cycle of life, death and new life.
With many people – even Christians – now doubting the physical resurrection of Christ, Lucy uses an analogy from C S Lewis’ writings to explain her own faith: “I believe in the resurrection as I believe the sun has risen – not because I see it, but because by it I see.” Even for those who did not see the empty tomb, she explains, it is possible to live life by the reality of that empty tomb.
Lucy also recalls a rarely heard story about what Mary, the mother of Jesus, did on the evening of Good Friday after seeing her son die on the cross: the story has it that she spent it with the mother of Judas, the traitor, who died on the same day by his own hand. Such parts of the greater Easter story, Lucy says, resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one.
But where does all this leave chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny? Both are pre-Christian in origin, of course, but Lucy does not judge them too harshly: they too symbolise new life and help people understand one of the most powerful stories ever told.
The A-Z of Things Unseen explores an eclectic mix of concepts through the eyes of 26 believers from a range of different faiths – as well as some doubters.