Easter Sunday

What a wonderful celebration we had last night and this morning. Again, thanks to all who made the church look so beautiful, and welcoming.

We reflected this morning on the last words of Mark’s gospel, describing the women running from the empty tomb in amazement and terror, for they were afraid. How we can own these emotions as we seek to follow Christ.His teachings and way to life encourage and enable us to be honest with ourselves. We spent some time thinking about what we would like to give to Jesus of ourselves for him to take to the tomb – what we would be released from. And also what we are released to – how can we live more fully the precious gift of the life we have been given.

I’m grateful to Debbie for seeing our benefice through this week whilst I have some time resting.

 

 

 

Good Friday

I came across this anonymous painting today. It’s very haunting – evoking both a broken tree and a tortured figure, leaving us somewhere in the middle.

This evening we enter that space between death and life. Jesus’ tortured body lies in the tomb, and the cross on which he died stands empty and stained. We have walked another Holy Week, reached another space in which faith is examined. Yesterday evening we gathered for a wonderfully moving supper, reflecting on Mary breaking a pound of perfume to anoint Jesus’ feet – a beautiful act, releasing deep and sensuous fragrance, but with death’s dark notes woven in.

The familiar story can remain just that. We hear it, we know it, and we can remain unchanged by it.

Or … or we can listen to it again – we can ask it questions, and look more deeply into its significance. We can look at the areas of our lives around which we place the barbed wire we see in the painting. The parts of us that keep people out, protect us – that wound others and ourselves. We can be honest about them, because they are what hold us back, what keep us from becoming the wonderfully and fearfully made people God intends. Or, like Mary, we can surrender them to Christ, surrender all we are, bathe his feet with our tears.

And we can wait – for the first light of dawn, for the truth to come in the form of love stronger than death.

All God’s richest blessings as you walk in the wonder and joy – and the challenge – of the resurrection.

philip