Today we celebrate God's inability to stay down. Death, violence and destruction do not have the final word in this world, after all; God does. It is 'resurrection'.
Christians are to be people who are drawn by hope, not driven by fear. They are a people who have been grasped by the outrageous good news that endings provide the soil for new beginnings. Christian hope is not rooted in any formula guaranteeing a safe or comfortable life; it is rooted in the person of the God who doesn't avoid a cross, but who empties a tomb and promises us new life.
Today is especially striking. There is a rumour abroad that the church in general and the Church of England in particular is incapable or unwilling to change. Well, here in West Yorkshire & the Dales we have opted for change in a serious way. The new diocese is born at midnight, ushering in the light of Easter. We face many challenges as a consequence of our willingness to take the risk of dying in order to live – but, we will face them as people of hope whose hearts and imaginations have been caught by Jesus himself.
We are an Easter people and hallelujah is the song that will not be silenced.