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Vicar’s Message April/May 19

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Dear Friends,

    Lent is always a time of mixed emotions. In church we like to celebrate the good things of life, all the many blessings for which we can be thankful to God. Yet we know that life comes as a complex, sometimes perplexing and at times distinctly painful package, so Lent provides a time each year and a structure to explore that more deeply. If we dare to talk with such emotional honesty, perhaps I should add!

  In Lent we think of how Jesus could not rest content with teaching and preaching and healing, but had to face into his own journey towards the cross. It was a lonely road at times, just as we can face loneliness, as his companions found the going tough and wrestled with the questions that raised for them. For Jesus himself and for his followers, facing into life’s dark corners wasn’t easy. However by doing so and continuing to love and care for all that he found, Jesus was able to offer up to God the whole of life experience, not just the pretty bits.

  When his disciples fell asleep while he was praying in the garden of Gethsemane and when Peter denied even knowing him in the courtyard, it must have been excruciatingly lonely for Jesus, yet he chose not to be overwhelmed by that but to continue trusting God despite all the difficulties.

  On the cross itself he experienced agony of unbearable intensity. Yet bear it he did and as a result, he was able to redeem and transform it. Good Friday turned into Easter Sunday and what had seemed hopeless defeat became the most amazing victory of divine love, which has shaped our world ever since. What a cause of true rejoicing.

  Let us prepare our hearts for the joy of Easter morning with humility and renewed thankfulness that God’s divine love can shine through the darkness and light up all the corners of our lives and of life itself.

 

   Yours in Christ’s service

Paul Cawthorne

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