Last week my son and I went to London to celebrate a milestone birthday. We attended the Star Wars Celebration in Europe along with nearly 30,000 other fans of the movies, TV shows, comic books, and memorabilia.
Fans were treated to guest appearances by actors who were in the first films as well as those who had just been cast in the newest productions which are premiering later this year. Vendors and exhibitors offered the latest toys, books, crafts, and games. In the conversations between those of us who waited in line to attend special panels or purchase one or more items for our collections, we talked about what it is like to be part of something that began a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
In a way, what was unfolding on the convention floor was a backdrop to the Easter celebration that was taking place across London. I saw an interview with the Right Reverend and Right Honorable Dame Sarah Mullally, who is the Anglician Bishop of London. She addressed some of the same issues we are facing here in the United States regarding the decline in worship attendance over the past few years.
Bishop Mullally hoped that on Easter, people would be returning to churches in greater numbers now that the COVID restrictions of the past couple of years were gone. Although I wasn’t able to attend a service on Easter morning, I did visit Wesley Chapel for an Easter Vigil service on Saturday night. The service was online and in person.
As I traveled all over London to take in the tourist sites and attend the Star Wars convention, many of the people I spoke with were talking about Easter. One of my Uber drivers and I spoke about the significance of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. A waiter at a restaurant, shared with me how wonderful God’s salvific acts were and are when he observed that I had a bookmark with John 3:16 on it.
As The Reverend Steven Cooper, the pastor at Wesley Chapel, reflected on the wondrous miracle of the empty tomb, he spoke about the significance of the day between Good Friday and Easter morning as the point when life and death connect with one another. It is the one day, in the life journey of our Savior, when these two events are juxtaposed.
Rev. Cooper’s message brought new light to what it means to be an Easter people. Our Lord continues to reach out to us to ensure our salvation. As we continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, I invite us to consider the words of Romans: 8: 38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is the promise that our Creator offers us. May it be so. And Amen.