A few weeks ago, at half past seven on a Monday evening, my wife and I were returning from a week away in Yorkshire.

It had been a cold snowy week – we managed to coincide our week away with the visit of the Beast from the East, but it had been a good week.

As we opened the front door of the Vicarage, we knew that something was not right. The smoke alarms were going off and there was a loud noise coming from the kitchen, which turned out to be the sound of water pouring through the ceiling and crashing onto the solid floor.

Hopefully by the time you read this we will have come to the end of our exile in hotel rooms during which we have become expert in the subject of local Premier Inns. We have joked about being homeless, but we know that for those who really are homeless the recent cold weather has been no joke.

We feel greatly blessed to have been looked after by the insurance company and by those kind church members who have invited us into their homes to feed us.

As we move into April, we move into a season of hope. Although April has a reputation for showers, the lighter evenings and the (possibly) warmer weather can make us feel more optimistic.

This year April begins with Easter Sunday. The Easter message is a message of hope. In the biblical Easter story, it seemed that all hope was gone for those who believed that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah when they witnessed his murder by Roman soldiers on a Friday at mid-day. At that point they saw their hopes and dreams die, too.

But the biblical accounts say that a few women went to give his body a proper burial on Sunday morning and found the tomb empty. The end had been transformed into a new beginning. In the pain and fear they experienced on Friday, they could not know that victory was just around the corner.

That’s what is at the heart of Easter. Jesus, who had been killed and sealed in a tomb, apparently defeated, appearing to his friends very much alive having defeated death. That’s the bottom line message of Easter for us all: Even when everything has gone wrong and we feel defeated and sealed up and despondent, don’t give up hope; victory might be just around the corner.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)

Andy

Revd Andy Wilson

Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown 
Joint Area Dean, Havant 
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC