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Alleluia! Christ has Risen! I think it is worth saying again! Alleluia ! Christ is Risen!   This is our first major festival in the church in years! The feast of resurrection! A feast of new life! Eternal life! A feast day full of joy! And it has been long in the waiting. It was March 2020 when I recall clearly thinking that COVID sounded like it was going to be pretty bad and perhaps I should pick up some Oreo’s as a moral boost for our household, after all two weeks could be a long time. Well, we’ve had a few more Oreos since then! And that context makes our celebration that much sweeter. For such a long time have been like those disciples in our gospel, huddled at home, doors locked in fear, confused and unsure, yet willing to jump at a the hint of good news…then to return to closed doors, once more hope dashed.  I sometimes fear that we follow that same pattern, especially now when life is so overwhelming and the world’s health, both physical and mental is tottering on a knife edge. We come to church, or a feast, a party, a bright spot of hope…desiring to see a return of what was normal, of what we know and love…but it becomes to easy to only see the emptiness of the tomb and simply go home. What we forget is that the miracle of Easter, the miracle of the resurrection is not merely Jesus returning from the dead, as miraculous as that is.  It is Jesus re-created… divine once more, no longer human, but God.  We forget that Christ gave up his divinity, his immortality, when he was born in that stable so long ago.  Which must be why, when Mary Magdelene, that very first Apostle, first saw the resurrected Christ, she didn’t recognise him…in fact, she downplayed him as a gardener or caretaker. He was different from what he had been, Christ had been re-created in resurrection. Mary was looking for someone she knew well, someone she had known.  So when she saw Christ in the garden, she saw…but did not see.  In her desire to see the Jesus she was familiar with, she almost missed recognizing the Resurrected Christ.          The risk of desiring the return of what was, could be a chance to miss what could be.  The chance of what could be.  That is key, the key feature of the resurrection.  It is the potential of life being fulfilled.  The brokenness of the world re-created, made whole.  Death, the tragic norm, itself broken and life re-created.  The gospels tell us of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, they tell us what happened to Christ, but not what happens next. If fact, the none of the gospels tell us what happens next… they are meant to tell us Jesus’ story…not ours.  We are the story of what happens next, we are living it!  We are the post resurrection narrative.  It is the story of God’s relationship with humanity and it reaches back to creation, and forward through our lives to…. Only God know’s when.  However, we do get glimpses throughout the bible of where this story is going.  Hints from what we celebrate this Easter morning. The miracle of the resurrection is not the end, but rather that grand reveal in the midst of tragedy.  It’s that part of the story when the Hero dofts her disguise and everyone joins in with the plot.  The miracle of the resurrection is what we celebrate today, but the story we live is what happens next! Our reading from Isaiah gives us a glimpse of a vision, a prophecy, a truth yet to come.  It tells us of the future that God has in store for us, Isaiah gives us a foreshadowing of what that final chapter will look like. God speaks: For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I am creating; …No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days,    or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,    and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. …They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity;  for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—     This was a vision spoken to the people of Israel in the aftermath of war, oppression, trauma and disappointed hopes.  These were words spoken to a people who had begun to give up, who had begun to adapt and accept the world for what it was.  A people who, disappointed, had simply gone back to their houses. But Isaiah reminds them that the emptiness that too often shapes the lives of many is not what was meant to be.  We are not to meekly accept an empty tomb and go back to what was.  The miracle of this day, the day of resurrection is that Christ was risen and risen in a new form, that was, at least initially, unrecognizable.            A new heavens and a new earth, says the Lord, the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. Plague, war, homelessness, mental debilitation, emptiness, faithlessness…will not be remembered or even come to mind.  What God has planned, what Christ died and was resurrected for was to bring about a new creation.  This what the story is leading up to, what we, characters in the story of Creation are moving towards.  God’s broken world not simply healed and returned to what was, but re-created into something new, something wonderful, something truly bless-ed. We are living the story of the resurrection, we are written into the pages of history, we are writing the story with Christ.   For as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.  We are blessed to inherit that promise, to hear our name called, as Mary did and so be transformed as Christ was, into a new creation.  We are the next part of the story, we are turning the page with Christ on a new Creation…bit by bit, hour by hour, minute by minute we are moving closer to that vision of Isaiah. This is the Day of Resurrection! Today we look for example, not to the disciples, but to Mary… not called a disciple in scripture, but proclaimed the first Apostle by the church.  That first person, first woman to see the resurrected Christ, recognise him and proclaim him risen to others. Mary Magdalene, the first apostle, went and announced to the disciples “I have seen the Lord” If we read on to see what happened next in the disciples story, we see their world was never the same again.  The very fact that we gather this day is testament to the way that Mary Magdalene helped re-create, re write the world she lived in.  Transformed it, bettered it, and took us one step closer to that new creation. It is time again, it is always time, to gather at the tomb…to look for Christ, to hear our names spoken and to rejoice!  To believe that miracles still happen, that Christ is still risen, that single lives can re-create the world as we participate in the work of Christ. We are called to do our best to live into Isaiah’s vision of God’s new heaven and new earth.  We are living that story, we are women and men who, when we hear Christ speak our name can with Christ bring about a new creation. This time we live in has given us fear and grief without measure, but also it has given a glimpse, if we choose to recognize it, of the possibility of a world re-created. Locked in, we saw creation begin to heal.  In desperate times, we began to recognize who among us are truly essential workers.  In need, we learned we could rely on and help out others.  We saw how quickly medical aid could be dispersed if we really try. We saw the possibilities of humanity at it best.  In this Easter season, we are witnesses. We see Christ resurrected, and we hear our names called.  We hear our names spoken in Christ’s own voice, calling us to write those next chapters with him.  This is the day of resurrection, this is the day of re creation, this is the day that the lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!   Alleluia! The Lord has risen!