It is all too easy to rush Easter. I’m always amazed how quickly the chocolate eggs and rabbits appear in the shops, often only a week or two after Christmas. We live in a ‘now’ world when nothing can come quickly enough; the next train, the next meeting, the next email.
But you can’t really ‘do’ Easter without experiencing something of Lent. Lent entails loss, perplexity, and the unknown. The Church Extension team has discovered its fair share of perplexity in recent months, and at times it has seemed like, as for the wandering Israelites, a fairly trackless land for the building committee, fundraisers and treasurers alike. I really am impressed how people have ‘hung in there’ and, with a following wind, the fruits of our labours should be available to both church and community before too much longer.
At the Last Supper, which we’ll remember in St.Agatha’s on the evening of Maundy Thursday, Jesus calls for the Holy Spirit to be with His disciples. It is the same Spirit that drove Him into the wilderness after His baptism. The Spirit is there in the highs and lows of all we are as people. When we get the job, when we lose the job, when we fall in love, when we fall out of love, when the troops come safely home, or when we hear of the blast that killed them.
The Spirit is ourselves in the depths of who we are. It is me at the profoundest level of my being, and it is from this place where God and me mingle indistinguishably that I am thrown out into the ‘wilderness’. And it is here we are tempted; tempted to give up, to despair. Tempted to cynicism. Tempted sometimes to cruelty. Tempted not to help others when we know we can, because, we think, what’s the use? Tempted to banish from our life all that we really hold dear, and that is love. And behind each and all of these temptations is the temptation to disbelieve in what we are, the temptation to distrust ourselves, to deny that it is the Spirit which ‘beareth witness with our spirit’; God in us…
The water in the bucket of my soul doesn’t look like an ocean. But each Sunday we affirm that it is, and that the little we bring to God is transformed out of all proportion of the ounce of trust we place in our maker. For in the creed at the Holy Communion we speak of the Spirit as He who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified. This glorification or ‘rising’ is never more marked than on Easter Day, which is why you are never more welcome in church than then.
As a Stereophonics album has it; ‘You’ve got to go there to come back’, so it is with Lent and Easter, they are like a journey. Do come and join us for any part of it; from the donkey in church on Palm Sunday (1 April), through the Hour at the Cross (2-3pm Good Friday) to Easter Sunday’s celebration and Easter Egg Hunt. Come along to be affirmed that together we matter, and that there is nothing in life so broken that it cannot be transformed. And, when you’ve made it through Easter, put 5 May in the diary – it’s the May Fair at Brightwell Manor, where the opportunity for tea, cake and community continue!
With every good wish to you and your family, and grateful thanks for all your support in our endeavours.Jeremy Goulston
<< Go Back