From the Rectory

One of the best inventions must be antibiotics developed by Alexander Fleming in 1928 which have saved thousands of lives. It was an invention which might never have happened. Fleming left a dish of bacteria on a bench in his laboratory while he went on holiday. When he returned, he noticed it had grown a mysterious mould which killed the bacteria.

That mould turned out to be penicillin, and it went on to be developed into the antibiotics so vital to modern medicine. Fleming’s response to the initial discovery was

 “That’s funny.”

We are not told what Peter and John said to each other as they left the empty tomb on that first Easer Day, but “That’s funny” might have been appropriate. There had been a stone door , now there wasn’t. There had been a body, now there wasn’t. It was an event even more extraordinary than Fleming’s discovery – a moment in history that changed everything. As  the Gospel tells us “as yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead.”

They were preparing themselves for a future without Jesus. The choice facing them – try to carry on the mission without him, or go back to their former lives ? The disappearance of the stone and the body were odd, nothing more. Resurrection did not enter their minds.

It took Mary to realise. In the absolute depths of despair , as she looked for someone to help, that she found him. He said her name, just as he had always done. She didn’t respond, “That’s funny” though it was. Instead she said, “Rabbouni”

recognising the master she had followed and loved.

Jesus was not dead, Mary went and told, and the world was changed. There was no fanfare, no armies of angels. It didn’t happen in the full glare of the day for all to see. In the darkness, hidden away, quietly, something funny happened, a stone in the wrong place, an empty bench.

Fleming’s discovery wasn’t really an accident. It was a lucky break, but he had been working for years on trying to find  a way to stop people dying from infections. Nor was the resurrection an accident for it had been planned from the beginning of time by God whose intention was not merely to postpone death, but to defeat it entirely. At the heart of this story lies the determination of not just a scientist but of a Creator who will not let created beings languish in the grave, but will do whatever it takes to give them life. Antibiotics may keep us alive longer, but through this other mysterious, odd, quiet event, we are saved from death for all eternity.

                              Every Blessing This Easter

                                                    Rev Peter

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