May 2022 - Rector's Ramblings

Andrew Doye portrait‘He is not here; he is risen’ the angel said.

This is Eastertide.  As you read these words, maybe Easter Day itself seems long to have passed; but that day continues into a season born out of the empty tomb. This remains Eastertide.

The season has its symbols every bit as much as Christmas.  Sometimes these are caught up with the motifs of simple Spring, but there is certainly a warm hand-holding between the religious and the common-place.

New-born lambs and chicks convey life, beauty and hopefulness.  Daffodils, or lilies, spring up from the soil of winter burial.  It isn’t hard to bridge from these to the new-life resurrection of Jesus.  Eggs, especially those of chocolate, are a little harder to reconcile; but we know they were used to recall the empty tomb; and, again, the irony of birth from the dry dust of death.

The Christian tradition has its own imagery drawn from Holy Week: of palm leaves woven into crosses; and hot cross buns marked with the sign of the cruel death that Jesus died; but flavoured still with spices that recall the embalming fragrance with which he was laid gently and lovingly inside the tomb.

Death and resurrection are, together, the foremost pivot of the Christian faith.  Such a partnership is actual, literal, in Jesus.  It is existential, too, held before the world as heavenly hope.  And in a wider humbler motif, it is for our re-vitalisation: direction, forgiveness and abiding love, in the constancy of God.  The Lord is making all things new.

Eastertide revels in further imagery which we will observe within our churches: from the first kindled fire of Easter morning, and the lighting of the glorious Paschal Candle; to the echoing refrain, ‘Alleluia’, which fills our praise; to the renewal of baptismal vows, once again; and to that joyful decoration of those sacred walls that follows on from sombre Lady Lent.

Christian folk are ‘Easter people’, finding resource and renewal in these days of celebration.

Death remains around us, among us, in the very fabric of our being.  None would say otherwise.    He is never to be disdained.    

Yet Christ, the Risen One, is to be heard and seen.   He is the spoken word of godly Love to you and me, and all the world.  He is the leaping, lasting, lightening, song of Life.   

Image for our eyes; image for our hearts.

And, in him, I pray for you, continuing Easter joy.

Andrew Doye


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