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‘Ok, let’s go to York Minster and get it over and done with’ – Canon Maggie McLean, Missioner

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Preacher: Canon Maggie McLean, Missioner

Title of sermon: ‘Ok, let’s go to York Minster and get it over and done with’

Date/time/service: Sunday 17 April 2022, 4pm, Easter Day, Choral Evensong


York has been full of visitors in recent days. After two Easters with COVID restrictions it’s been good to welcome so many visitors into the Minster. A couple of days ago I was walking nearby when I heard a family debating their plans for the day. Sometimes it’s not easy to decide what to do when there is so much to do. However, eventually, one voice rose above the others, saying: ‘Ok, let’s go to York Minster and get it over and done with’.

I was amused. But I suspect we all know that feelings. When you tell people you’re going away and they say, ‘oh if you’re going there you must see so-and-so’. Whether it’s the Louvre in Paris or Nelson’s Column in London, every tourist destination has its own ‘must see’ place.

In the events we’ve marked in recent days the city was Jerusalem and the place was the Temple.  The streets would have been packed, the stalls and money-changers thriving. Every available room in the city would have been taken and many visitors would have camped outside the walls.

But this festivity was overshadowed by the darkness of a public execution. Now, on the third day, there are strange reports of an empty tomb; Jesus no longer dead but living; his body seen bearing the wounds he received on the cross. In time, as our second reading describes, more and more people would come to encounter the Risen Christ. All of this fulfils God’s promise to save his people.

In Isaiah and Psalm 66 we are reminded that even though we may suffer for a time, God does not abandon us. God freed the people from captivity in Babylon – just as God had freed the people from slavery in Egypt. The promise we celebrate today is the news that even death cannot hold us captive.

As we pray for God’s Kingdom to come (on earth as it is in heaven) we look forward to a time when each of us and everything is brought to completion in the light of God’s love.

And that’s why the comments I heard in the street are prophetic.  Christians look forward to a time when the Church will ‘be over and done with’.

Holy Week and Easter in Church help us affirm our faith and shape our determination to love as Christ loves us. Fed by word and sacrament in the hope that one day all this will no longer be needed.  God promises to save the people. In Jesus Christ death no longer holds us captive.

At Easter Christians are sent out to live this promise of freedom and work for God’s peace in a world torn apart by violence and hatred. We all know how much that is needed. This Easter may the Risen Christ inspire us and lead us to that day when God’s Kingdom comes, and justice and peace will be established for all people in our world.



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