Letter from our Vicar

Letter from our Team of Clergy and Readers - February 2018(Continued from Home Page)

. . . .  The date of Easter is flexible because it was chosen as the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on, or directly following, the Spring Equinox which is always 21st March.   This means that Easter can fall on any Sunday between 22nd March and 25th April.

We are used to Christian Festivals – Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost.   Easter was the first of the major festivals to be remembered and celebrated.   Indeed, it has a weekly remembrance – if we recognise that for Christians, Sunday is our Holy Day, the day of Christ’s Resurrection.

For Jews – Jesus, his apostles and disciples originally were all Jews and kept Saturday as the Holy Day – the Sabbath is Saturday which Jews observe even to this day.   It was because Christ was raised on the first day of the week, the day after the Sabbath, that we observe Sunday as the Day of Resurrection.

Now, why do I say all this about Easter when we are about to enter Lent!   I do so because, in order to experience the wonder and glory of Easter in all its fullness and power, many Christians around the world keep the period of Lent, the six weeks before Easter, as time modelled on Jesus’ forty days that he spent in the wilderness in preparation for his own ministry after his baptism by John the Baptist. 

Christians have always valued this special time – a six week period when one can pace oneself in endeavouring to tighten up one’s own discipleship by acts of self-discipline in one form or another.   Many

people give something up, others take something on.   Some do this individually or personally and others do this in company with other people.   I cannot put all this better than in the words of a wise and trusted friend who said:

 

Lent is a time for finding our own desert place where we can be alone with God and, in the stillness and the silence, be receptive to all that He longs to be to us.   We can create this place full of promise in the corner of a cluttered room or in the wide open spaces of the surrounding countryside.   The location doesn’t matter.   What matters is that we go there with quiet determination and in that desert place encounter the God of surprises.

 

More than ever, I believe, the kind of world we live in needs people who come back from the desert place with something to say about God that is real, true and transforming.   It is when we have been there in Lent, have found ourselves stripped of all pretence and healed by the love of God, that we shall find ourselves celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ with new insights and renewed faith.”

 

I do hope that as many as possible will be able to find God’s blessing in the keeping of a beneficial and hopeful Lent, whether that is done privately or in the company of others, and may it be a great preparation for all of us, whoever we are, when we come to the celebrating of the Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Day.

 

With every blessing

                        Michael Irving

 

 


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