Reflection from the Rectory
The Spring feels as
though it has arrived and
I am looking out of the
study window at the
snowdrops and the first
glimpse of daffodils. The
vaccination programme is
moving apace and we
have been given a potential road map out of
lockdown and towards whatever a new normal
might look like. Things feel very hopeful for the
first time in many months.
We will be beginning physical Sunday
worship at the 8.00 am in Framlingham and
11.15 am at Saxtead from Sunday 7th March.
The 10.30 am Wednesdays Eucharist in
Framlingham will recommence on the 10th
I hope at Easter we will be able to think about
returning to some type of Physical 9.30 am
service on Sunday mornings and that Holy
Week will give us opportunities to keep a
semblance of Holy Week.
Our return will need to have all the restrictions
in place, masks, social distancing and hand
sanitizing will remain important for some time
to come I am sure. I am aware of the thirst to
‘get back to normal’ but we must temper that
urge to make sure that all we do offer is safe
for those attending and leading. We also have
to think about how to maintain some online
worship for those who may not be able to
come back to physical worship but who have
so delighted in being part of our wonderful
zoom Sunday services, we don’t simply want
to abandon them just because different
opportunities now present themselves.
How we move and how fast it happens will
take time to get right and we might need to try
things and modify as we go along.
For the first time I think we can sense
resurrection, and this will be important to
reflect in all our worship over Holy Week. We
have stood under the shadow of the cross for
too long and now there is a need to look
beyond the cross to the day-break of the
resurrection Story. The message people’s
hearts will be longing for is victory over death.
We can never of course ignore the cross and
nor should we attempt to but how we preach
and present it needs to reflect our particular
context as we come out of a dark time.
So things are moving in a new direction; I am
delighted that so many people have been
vaccinated and that there is a real light at the
end of the tunnel. How we reflect that in the
worship of the church will be something to
reflect on deeply.
Every blessing, Chris.
Archie and Basil were enjoying the arrival of Spring. They had loved the snow and spent hours rolling in it to see just how much they could bring inside on their coats! But the smells of spring approaching and the new flowers that were beginning to appear allowed them longer in the garden watching creation go by.
This particular morning they were sitting in the sun and looking across the Mere at the red bricks of the college. On such mornings even the long days of Lent didn’t seem quite so bad to Archie. Basil had been reassuring him that after Lent came the great feast of Easter. “Is it another birthday?” asked Archie excitedly thinking back to Christmas. “No” explained Basil,
“it is when we remember the victory of Jesus” (Archie looked confused so Basil continued), Jesus constantly told stories about love (Archie nodded) but not everyone liked the love stories that Jesus told!” “Why?” asked Archie who loved hearing the stories that Jesus told. Basil needed to think very hard and as it had been almost an hour since his last treat it was quite a task! “The stories about love that Jesus told are wonderful stories, but they included as heroes some people that those who heard the stories didn’t like, like Samaritans. Some of the religious leaders felt Jesus had no authority to be telling stories about God because that was their job. So while many people loved the stories that Jesus told because they made them feel much closer to God some very powerful people wanted Jesus to stop telling his stories, and told him so, warning him that he would be in danger if he didn’t stop.
The thing was, the story of God’s love was at the heart of what Jesus had come to do and he simply couldn’t stop telling the story and doing the things which spoke to the people about the way God loved them. Eventually there were lots of powerful people working to silence Jesus and bring his stories to an end. They made all sorts of plans but, try as they might, they could not seem to silence Jesus and his stories, so they worked with the Romans to have Jesus arrested and crucified as they thought that would stop the stories completely. If everyone saw how easy it was to silence the stories how could their message be true! After Jesus died on the cross the disciples all scattered, because it really felt that the love stories had come to an end. Their hearts were way too sad to tell love stories!”
“I can understand that” replied Archie with a deep sigh feeling very sad himself as he blinked away a tear. “There doesn’t seem much to feast about!”. Basil continued, “ah but that is not where the story ends. Three days after Jesus had died, early in the morning some of the disciples went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. When they got there, they found the tomb was empty and, without really understanding quite why, their hearts began to hope again. You see the story of God’s love is so powerful that even death can’t stop it! God had raised Jesus from the dead so that everyone could understand that the love story of God and his people was not ended by death but becomes even deeper in a new life. The day when Jesus died on the cross is called Good Friday and the day God brought Jesus back to life is called Easter Sunday. The hope and light that filled the world on Easter morning continues to shine brightly in our world and that is why we have a big feast, even bigger that Christmas. There are special foods and services and lots and lots of chocolate!
Now doggie chocolate, (human chocolate makes doggies poorly), was one of Archie’s favourite things, and as Basil said the words his tail began to wag uncontrollably. “ The thing is” Archie said, “ I am not sure which I makes me happier, the chocolate, or the fact that the love story of God in Jesus cannot be silenced or stopped”. “It is wonderful, isn’t it” replied Basil, whose own tail was not beating in time with Archie’s!