Happy Easter to you all! One of the things that many people said they were more attuned to during the several lockdowns over the last two years was the sounds and sights of nature: bird song, trees leafing, the phases of the Moon. In a way, of course, our detachment from nature has been one of the principal consequences of industrialisation and the drive to urban living, which the last two hundred years or so has borne witness to. Prior to that, society was still agrarian, still dependent on the seasonal changes that affected people in so many ways.
The cessation of a lot of the activity, especially during the spring of 2020 re-connected us with what we had lost: I can remember videoing my Easter talk on my phone in the garden, and being almost drowned out by bird song, which was something that some of those who tuned in preferred to hear! Wasn’t it wonderful to hear the chaffinches!
Now I am not arguing for a return to some mythical time and place that never existed: life in pre-industrial times was never easy. But the ‘stopping of the clocks’ did mean that we could be once more aware that we are part of nature and not manipulating nature to our own ends. This is the basis of environmental concerns, that human beings, by the way they pillage the earth’s resources, are a detrimental force in the world at large. We need to change our habits, but for a brief moment we had our habits changed.
Easter is all about nature: forget, for the moment, the high theology around the feast: it is all about new life, new possibilities, and most importantly it is God who takes the initiative in this, not us. Easter reminds us that our power, our desires will only lead to nature’s exhaustion, but God’s initiative tells us that it is not down to us at all. And because Easter is always with us – Jesus is alive! – we will always be reassured that new life, new hope will always be part of our agenda. And no matter where we go wrong, whether in Ukraine or in global warming, we will always have the companionship of the Risen Jesus to lead us along a better way.
He is Risen, Alleluia!
Dean of Truro