It will be Easter again

It seems just a short while ago that we celebrated Christmas and in the meantime we are well underway in the direction of Easter 2017.

Also PCC is – modestly – looking forward to the coming Easter celebrations (though less than in December, also here people seem to like Christmastime better).
Apparently fewer and fewer people (at least in Holland) are able to explain what Easter really means, most would say that it is all about eggs and Easter bunnies. However, we shouldn’t criticize them too severely because for many Christians Easter still is a big secret, a mystery, too.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, in a stable near Bethlehem. And we passionately call Him the Light and Saviour of the world. Truly a grand vision, a message full of hope and expectation.
But now, just a few months later, we are contemplating Jesus’ conviction by Pilate and His death at the cross and we call this day Good Friday.
One needs some flexibility of mind (or a great belief, if you like) to regard Jesus’ death as a good message for mankind, to keep faith in His Peace even after Golgotha and to believe that death is not the end, but a new beginning.
However, without Good Friday there is no Easter, without the cross no victory of life over death, without Jesus’ death there is no celebration of His Resurrection and no perspective of new life, a heavenly Jerusalem.
Almost 100 children and young adults are living in PCC – Hand in Hand at the moment, all of them were born in different places. We assume that at the time of birth parents and family were looking forward to the new child in hopeful expectation.
But their hopeful expectation soon turned into sheer desperation because the reality of the child’s condition after birth differed from the parents’ expectations to such a degree that they saw no other way out than to abandon their disabled child.
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Shortly after these births a period of celebrating would certainly follow that would, however, soon turn into a time of sorrow and suffering. Thus the parallel of first Christmastime followed by the Passiontide imposes upon us.
No heavenly angel choirs, no incense and gold, but a broken world of dreams falling apart.
The children of PCC have come to live here via various ways and here we are trying to make life as comfortable as possible for them.
But they will still have their special needs and a quick view around the community is sufficient to notice that we are looking at a part of those who are suffering in the world. Who would ever like to change lives with e.g. Afia, Amma Lekma, Benjamin, Emmanuella, Lisa, Paa Yaw, Regina, Sadat, Shalomina etc.??
We cannot always take away their limitations, but we can alleviate their suffering and especially give them lots of love, care and security.
In a sense we are all, together with the children of PCC, always on our way from Christmas to Easter.
There is no reason to be over the moon about our world and PCC with regard to “on earth peace, goodwill toward men”, but we may live and act from the task assigned to us by Jesus: “Love your neighbour as yourself”.
We do so in the belief that a life full of limitations is not the end, that God will once take all of his children home, also those of PCC.
No tears will be shed anymore, there will be no worldly suffering anymore, His peace will be in and for all.
What a heavenly vision it is, because of Easter, for all children of PCC and for all of us.
Happy Easter!