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Hope at Easter and Anzac

Thursday, 22 April 2021  | John Kidson


Arh mate, how long before we see mince pies again? Hot Cross buns and eggs will phase out soon and then ... Yeah, well Easter is over and Anzac Day is approaching. I've always found that Anzac and Easter so easily share links - sombre thoughts and wild ecstatic celebration! Maybe it's just me, but I find these links resonate quite deeply within. Perhaps it’s my Scottish heritage - the love of bagpipes and a bit of the wander-lust and/or free spirit desire is surfacing more as I 'mature'. The first Easter story of Mary coming to the tomb has always enthralled me. I imagine her as my mother (they share their name) so I tend to let them share some characteristics as well ...

She was almost breathless - even before she started running! Now, struggling to fill her lungs again, she kicked off those 'silly soft sandals' and pulled her shawl closer with determination. She was heading back! Faster! Martha would smile at her now bare feet. Exasperation, bewilderment, excitement – all of these tumbled through her brain like autumn leaves in the wind. Questions began settling on her tongue. She dismissed them with the growing pain of the stitch in her side. Breathe! Faster!

Incredibly, her mind started to parade pictures before her, images of the 'good old days' she'd half-forgotten. Less than three years ago? Really? Yes. Yes! She remembered the lake trips, the teaching, the healings, the picnic crowds.

Last week's festival parade had made her smile, even whoop as she listened to the cheering! Then, on recalling what they told her about the garden, her hand clenched her shawl. She rolled and twisted it around her fingers. She could only imagine the court scenes, which had so quickly followed.

Palm on pumping heart she tried to block out what came next. Almost thankful for the darkening of the scary, rumbling afternoon … what had happened? Why did he die? Why? If only he had … if only Pete … No! He's back! Faster, tell Peter! Tell everyone. Her pounding, compelling heart, the searing stitch inside, she stumbled on bleeding feet - her stitch: ‘ai yi! - Simon oh Peter! Peter he, he's alive! The - the Lord is risen!’

Maybe later she'd ask, maybe later they would all ask … why did he die? But not now - maybe later Peter could explain things. All that farming talk about dying seed falling to the ground – anyway, phew! He is alive now! That's the main thing!


John Kidson is a former youth worker and uni chaplain. He now ministers part time in Grafton Anglican diocese.

Image: Woman at the tomb by Fr Sieger Köder

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