Dear Friends,

It seems a little odd to be writing the letter for the Easter issue of our church magazines less than a fortnight after the start of Lent.  As I write we are (hopefully) coming to the end of a very rainy few days, while looking back on amazing spring-like weather in February which brought out the blossom incredibly early.  It was wonderful to enjoy the warmth, the sun, the blossom and other signs of spring so early, even though we have been reminded since that it isn’t reallyspring just yet.  Just the thought, the hope, that winter is coming to an end and brighter days lie ahead can lift our spirit.

It can feel the same as we journey through Lent, that time of self-examination, of maybe denying ourselves a treat we enjoy regularly, of looking at how we can grow closer to God, be that through prayer, study, or just making time to be still, on our own, to try to hear God speaking into our hearts.  It can be tough, but it is nothing compared to the suffering and hardship that Jesus willingly went through, culminating in his death on the cross, for you, for me.  Those dark days of that final week had to be gone through if there were to be the victory of life over death in the resurrection. It is paralleled in the way we have to go through the dark, cold days of winter before we can rejoice at the coming of new life in our gardens and countryside, with longer, warmer, brighter days. 

This year April begins in the middle of Lent, moving quickly into Passiontide when we turn our thoughts towards the cross, and then Holy Week when in real time we recall Jesus’s journey from his entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday to the indignity and pain of his crucifixion on the Friday, and then – at last – on the following Sunday, the celebration of his glorious resurrection, victorious over death and opening the way to eternal life for all who believe in him.  

I do encourage you to take time to explore that journey, to feel something of the sorrow, to remind yourself that Jesus died for you, because he loves you, (yes, you,) far more deeply than you can ever get your head round.  

So April this year takes us from darkness to light, from despair to hope, from death to resurrection.  For so many Easter is just that first long weekend of the year, (with a surfeit of chocolate added in!)  For Christians, it is the most important festival we have, where we celebrate with joy our risen Saviour, and that joy will be all the more vibrant if first we have made time to mark the period of Lent and Holy Week.

God bless, and may you enjoy a Joyful and Blessed Easter when it comes.  I hope that, however you spend it, you are able to hear somewhere the joyful shout: 

“Alleluia! Christ is risen!”and that you will respond with all your heart:

“He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!”


Sister Dorothy