Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared

Easter is obviously a very special time in the Church Calendar, and is by far the most important celebration for Christians. It is at the very heart of our faith. In Holy Week we remember the events from Palm Sunday, the triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, the anticipation that hung in the air, through Maundy Thursday and remembering the Last Supper Jesus shared with friends, the agony of the night of betrayal and all that led to the Crucifixion that we recall on Good Friday, then the long wait of Easter Saturday through to the joy and celebration of Easter Day itself. What a week of emotions!

Sometimes in our journeys of faith we want to jump straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Day, from a day of triumph to a day of pure joy. However, neither life nor our journeys of faith are like that. We have to go through each event in turn to appreciate the next. Easter Sunday holds far less meaning if we do not have Good Friday to prepare. Maundy Thursday helps us understand the human and personal Jesus, the sense of friendship and fellowship and betrayal, which stands alongside the sense of Jesus the Divine in the resurrection of Easter Sunday.

Each of us will be in a different place in our journey of faith this Easter. May we journey together, recognising that life has its ups and downs, and that sometimes we do not know what is coming next. The women, who had waited and watched and no doubt wailed at the foot of the cross, did not know what awaited them as they arose early and prepared the burial spices. May we all know the hope offered by the empty tomb this Easter.