Action Zones 

From the Rectory April 2018

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life

 

SIMON WARD 12-2018Rev Canon Simon Ward
 

I think we’ve all had enough of the cold weather now and we are all looking forward to feeling some spring sunshine warmth. Mothering Sunday this year was highlighted by a near complete boycott of the event by the daffodil population. However, as I write this in mid-March there are forecasts hinting at the possibility of snow again but I hope by the time you read this, the lengthening days will bring some warmth. We will have to see what happens!
 
A lot of our English mind set around Easter is very much tied up with spring and new life. We think of the Resurrection and the message of new life and new hope which that brings to us all symbolised in the way many churches create an Easter Garden to include an empty tomb, crosses in the background and plenty of signs of spring. When we see the wonder of a seemingly dead looking tree suddenly budding and blossoming into life then that reminds us of Resurrection. And where would Easter be without daffodils, spring lambs, blossom, and fluffy chicks?
 
I met a student from South Africa at theological college who saw things differently. In the southern hemisphere they are heading towards the autumn as we’re journeying through Holy Week: changing seasons, lower temperatures, and times of rain and storm are the order of the day. It does us good to look upon familiar festivals from the perspective of others and their experiences. Understanding Easter needs us to search deeper, looking to Jesus and looking to ourselves
 
Resurrection needs us to search deeper than just the outward signs we glimpse. For many of us today, belief in the resurrection enhances both our life and commitment to engagement in bringing resurrection into the here and now for others. This is just as Jesus did when he taught, healed, or fed people. Or, as Christian Aid often put it, “We believe in Life before Death”. What we do is vitally important - be it comforting those in pain, buying fair-trade goods, being involved in social and global issues, sharing what we have, supporting those in need - naming but a few examples
 
St Paul once said ‘If Christ was not raised... your faith is in vain’. Resurrection is the heart of our faith and compels us to extend that offer of life, life in all its fullness, to all

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Fr Simon

 

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