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From The Vicar April 2018

From Revd Paul Cawthorne


Easter is here, the air is warming, the leaves are appearing, new life all around. It is a wonderful season of fulfilment and of promise. During Lent we have followed Jesus on his road to Jerusalem though deep, dark suffering and now to his mysterious emergence into a new kind of life. Not a life which is easy for the limited faculties of us humans to comprehend at first, yet something glorious which turns our understanding of life itself upside down.


Some faithful women who knew Jesus came, as St Luke records, very early on the first day of the week bringing spices they had prepared. There is a lovely translation of their reaction when the tomb is empty: "they were utterly at a loss", bewildered.  Yet gradually, gently, pointers emerge. First two angels; then Mary of Magdala sees a character she recognises; then an encounter on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus which convinces two disciples that Jesus' death was not the end but was part of God's plan for redeeming humanity. Then an appearance to a group of disciples including the ultra-pragmatic Thomas who ends up saying "My Lord and my God". Then when Peter is back fishing on the lakeside, a familiar voice calls "Friends, have you caught anything?" and soon they are all breaking bread together on the shore and eating their fill of fish.


What a springtime, what a relief to those who thought forlorn despair was the order of the day, what a glimmer of joy to those who heard the news and dared to hope. What a time, the gradual change from bewilderment to realisation that something earth-shattering had happened, or rather was now underway. After the Ascension, they gather again to discuss what has happened and to make plans how best to stay true to Jesus' message. Then something amazing happens, with a sound like a rushing wind. But that is to jump ahead in our story. For now let us bask in the springtime, full of unexpected promise, full of renewed hope, full of presence, of God, our crucified but risen loving Lord.