The preacher at the Easter Sunday service I attended this year reminded us that Easter was full of the unexpected. Unexpected people (the women who Jesus knew rather than the men) reported the unexpected and astonishing resurrection event. When Jesus appeared to all but one of the disciples, the absentee wanted to feel the holes in Jesus’ hands and side before he would change his expectations.
This theme of the unexpected seemed very appropriate for where I was on that Sunday morning. I wasn’t at church, I wasn’t even with my family. I was a couple of hundred miles from home in Manchester for ‘Mancunicon’ the 67th British Science Fiction convention.
|Mancunicon-The UK SciFi Easter Convention|
We held our own Easter service at the convention, where a bout twenty five of us from various traditions stepped out from the crowd of Trekkies and the Doctor Who fans, and the Space Opera geeks, the LARP crowd, the Filk music crew, and the Cosplay enthusiasts ( you can look all this up!). We stepped out from our Sci-Fi community to be part of another community: the gathered church in that place.
The good news of Jesus’ resurrection was a surprise for His followers. I imagine our fellow Sci-Fi enthusiasts were also surprised to come into the convention space on Sunday morning to be greeted with the strains of ‘And can it be?’ floating across the hotel. And yet, why not? As Christians we need to be in unexpected places, and as writers who are also Christians we are very likely to find ourselves with people who might not normally have any connection with faith. Our experiences with these people, and their experiences with us, will certainly give us material to work with as writers, but more importantly they make us ambassadors for the Kingdom and an extension of the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus said go out into all the world, he meant all places, and all environments. And I don’t think he just meant go somewhere else and do it, he also meant do it where you are. Practically all of us belong to a community outside the church, there is our family, and other writers we know, maybe it’s people with whom we share another hobby or interest. May God help us to be the unexpected good news in our communities.
Andrew Chamberlain is a writer and creative writing tutor. He is the presenter of The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt, a podcast that offers practical, accessible advice on the craft. Andrew has published fiction and collaborated on a number of ghost-writing projects through Authentic Media, including the bestselling, 'Once an Addict' with Barry Woodward. He has also self-published a number of science fiction short stories.