Pause for Thought on Easter Day


The Archbishop joined BBC Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday programme to share the hope that Easter brings.

What’s your favourite journey?

Two immediately spring to mind for me.

First, the train journey from Fenchurch Street in the East End of London to Leigh on Sea in Essex. This can’t be a controversial choice. I’m sure you’ll agree: it has to be one of the great train journeys of the world, easily matching the Orient Express or the Rocky Mountaineer from one side of Canada to the other.

The second is the A1M going north or south, coming off at the A64 and heading east to York.

In times past I have equally enjoy the A12 to Chelmsford, the M4 to Reading and the M62 over the Pennines to Huddersfield.

Why do I love these journeys? 

Well, you’ve probably got there before me. They are journeys home.

Leigh on Sea was where I was born and brought up. York is my home at the moment.

The great feast of Easter that we are celebrating today is also about home. Only now we discover that home is not here. Not somewhere we go back to.

On the night before he dies, Jesus says to his friends that he is going now to prepare a place for them, and after he’s gone he will return to take them with him, so that where he is, we can be.

The place prepared for us – a place beyond this life and through death – is the banquet of heaven and our true home. A place where every tear is wiped away.

I can close my eyes and easily be back home, back to my childhood home, back to the bedroom I shared with my brother, back to all the happy memories, securities and associations of home. I can soon be back at the last home I lived in when my children were young. In my mind, I can visit each of their bedrooms and tuck them in.

But I can’t actually go back. And even the security and apparent permanence of my current home is, despite its grandeur and its comfort, only a temporary dwelling. 

This is true for all of us. And don’t the people of Ukraine and many other refugees across the world know this only too well. 

And what of those who have never really had a home at all.

Jesus stands in the dawning brightness of the first Easter day. He sees Mary weeping and comforts her. He tells her not to cling to him, because in this life there is actually nothing we can hold onto. All will pass. 

But he also assures her that he is going to his Father and her Father. His God and her God.

He is going home. And he takes us with him. He promises us a place. A place here and now and for all eternity, where we are known, and loved and held.

This is the good news and the hope of Easter. Christ is risen, and we are risen with him, called to live lightly on the Earth, to love one another, and to journey home to God.

Happy Easter 

A small Easter garden with cross of twigs made at Ullswater College
3 min read