It’s always a challenge to communicate the message of Easter, and its preceding days, in ways that make sense to 21st century people. Yesterday was the beginning of Lent and to illustrate it I used a simple Delia Smith pancake recipe in Church. It had three easy steps and it was all on one page – my kinda recipe!
First we mixed up the ingredients: flour, milk and egg. I suggested that for a group of people to work well together everyone had to bring along their special ingredient (gift) and use it for the benefit of the whole. I also said that you’ve got to be prepared for a few eggs to be broken along the way. We whisked it all up and applied heat. In the style of Blue Peter, I had ‘prepared some earlier’. But I did suggest that any community, be it a church, village, firm, or country, has to be prepared to go through some ‘heat’, some hard times, together, if it is to forge stronger bonds. The heat in our case might be a struggle simply to find the funds to keep the show on the road. For a new IT firm it might be keeping up with the competition in China or wherever.
And then there’s flipping the pancake – the courage to take the risk of dropping it. If we don’t experiment in life we can miss out on so much. There’s been a good radio programme recently featuring ‘The Value of Failure’ from business, school and sporting points of view. Ed Smith, who ‘only’ played cricket for England three times, when he’d expected to be a team regular, said some wise words:
‘As an experienced player I try to think about losing and then regaining form as like putting the wheels back on a bike…The first time is the hardest, you’re not sure you’ll ever get moving again, but once you’ve experienced a few cycles of boom and bust, the dark days are less daunting. Having watched the wheels fall off before, we are better equipped to put them back on again.’
Easter is a bit like that. It tries, at a much deeper level, to make sense of human failure and the way through the dark and out the other side.
Happy Easter, whenever it comes.
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