Now I know I’ve probably bored some of you already half to death with the excitement of where I got to spend Easter this year, but well traveling to Gyor(Hungary) for a 5 day conference is pretty epic.
Little did I expect that in such a short space of time so much would happen. So I’ve decided to share some of the joys and not so happy times with you all.
I can’t think of a better day to begin other than Easter day itself. Now, it may seem a little crazy but the organisers of Undivided2012 had decided that the 2500ish students and staff were to meet at 7am for an Easter service. Having had lots of early starts already during the week and not so early bedtimes it wasn’t something I was all that overexcited about. However, little did I know what was around the corner.
As we started to gather on campus heading towards the main meeting hall we were stopped by stewards who were calling out to say “we had to wait, something had happened”. At this point in time a lot of us Brits just presumed for health and safety reasons maybe we had to enter in smaller groups. Once we’d been allowed through we came to yet another stop, but this time the guy was reading from a bit of card and it all became clear as they proceeded to shout at us to “run, hurry, he’s there no longer”. A little stubborn and reserved I eventually entered into the spirit of things and jogged a little before entering down a corridor into the main hall in which students were sat silently facing toward the stage on which were the empty grave clothes and an empty tomb. Eventually sat on the floor and listening to the readings, reflecting and praying it all made sense. The Hungarians had done a great job of drawing each of us into the reality of what would have really happened. How gradually more and more people would have heard about the empty tomb.
We then had some time of sung worship together, had the joy of sharing communion with some very special people, and sung some more.
As I looked around it was a beautiful sight to behold. All of us in that room had once been enemies of God and yet in his grace and mercy he’d bought each of us into the light. What we were declaring that morning was death has been defeated, sin no longer wins, Jesus has risen! For the first time in a long while that morning my heart sung for joy at no longer being guilty. Jesus has taken all my shame away, it’s defeated, finished.
He came as flesh, blameless and perfect, so that in his death he could free us from slavery. His resurrection brings so much joy! So much hope! What a great lord we have to hold out to people and rest in ourselves!
One of my favourite easter celebrations by far!