Easter thoughts…. from the Revd Howard

It doesn’t really seem very long ago that we were putting the final touches to the celebrations of Christmas…..and now we find that Easter is almost upon us…. three more Sundays before that great festival…perhaps the greatest of our celebrations!!!

Lent has and is the time when we are meant to actively prepare ourselves to make that transition from the hypocrisy of Jesus’ detention and trial feel the horror and cruelty of the day of his crucifixion and rise to the joy and hopefulness of the Easter Resurrection… something of an emotional rollercoaster if we engage with it at all seriously. But it is a journey that we need to experience if the real significance of God’s involvement with his world is to attain its true meaning. It is often, quite truly said, that there can be no Easter without the pain and sadness of the preceding Good Friday.

At St Edmund’s as in countless other churches we will observe the journey during our ‘devotions’ on Good Friday… bible readings and suitable music enabling a solemn revisiting of the events through the trial to the crucifixion and onwards both in time and spirit to the glorious coming of light in the Service of Light on Easter Saturday before the magnificence of the Easter Eucharist on THE day itself at which service the words of the ‘Gloria’ [deleted from Lenten communions], is re-established with renewed heart and meaning….and with the renewal of  hope for this tormented world.

As with many other of the Christian festivals there is a continuing ‘creeping secularisation’ which seeks to replace the true meaning of the celebration with a commercially oriented alternative…. Fluffy chicks, chocolate eggs and newborn lambs can and are valid celebrations of the renewed life that comes into Gods created world at this time but they are no substitute for the remembrance and participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this act things were changed and hope was for us and for the entirety of the world and creation placed centre stage… and all the evidence I see is that we do need renewed hope in a future that will overcome the trials that so beset God’s world

Perhaps some words of Cardinal Basil Hume [former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster] place Easter in its right context

‘’The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake‘’.

I trust that the image of fluffy chicks, gambolling lambs and foil wrapped chocolate eggs will indeed enhance your enjoyment of this season but that they will too your faith that in that first Easter God in Christ has indeed changed all things!!

I look forward to welcoming you to our services as we join together in making our journey from the Cross to the Light of new hope and in celebrating that new hope in the world and in our lives.

A joyous, hope filled and happy Easter to you all…