Amma Sue - April 2014

posted 9 May 2014, 09:03 by Richard Jones   [ updated 9 May 2014, 09:03 ]

Dear Friends,

“Holy, holy, holy week, there to make the clergy weep!”  So sang my friend as we sat together over lunch one Holy Saturday.  Over the years since being ordained I have come to understand just what he meant, for I too have always found Holy Week to be a very trying and tiring experience. And from conversations I’ve had with other folk whether ordained or not there is certainly an air of tiredness and even slight depression around this particular time in the Church’s calendar. So why should such a familiar and annual event have this effect on people?  What’s so different about this particular religious festival?

Well, I think that it’s because during this particular week, unlike any other in the year, as we consciously and deliberately walk the road to Calvary, we are coming face to face with the common lot of all humanity.  For we have all, no matter how young or old, experienced times of loss and sadness; times of endings and partings.  Some of them we can recall and some have entered so deeply into our subconscious that we’re not even aware of feeling them.   And so, as we think and pray and meditate on Jesus’ Passion and Death in the final week of his earthly ministry, it’s no wonder we’re tired and no wonder we become a little bit giddy on Easter Day.

For Easter Day is the promise of hope and new life, the promise that the common human experience of pain and loss punctuated by the odd Bank Holiday break is not the only thing that we have to look forward to, and it’s a promise not only for us gathered in Christian churches, it’s a promise held to everyone.  As the scripture reminds us “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.”   That most generous of all the generous gifts of our generous God, spills over to affect even those who can’t, won’t or have not had the opportunity to hear the Good News.  For Easter influences us all, as we all share in the pleasure. And as we eat our chocolate Easter Eggs, share celebration meals, or just chill out with friends, family or even on our own, we can be sure that we share this pleasure with many others whether they claim the Christian faith or not.  For in great generosity our Creator God chose to be limited by the human experience, to enter fully into all that that would mean, to know intimately all our experiences of joy, of pain, of loss and of sadness. And who for our sake was prepared to walk the road to Calvary, not simply in memory or imagination but to walk that road in reality, and who as he lay pinned and dying prayed for those who did not, would not, or could not believe as well as those who did.

A Happy, Hopeful and Blessed Easter to you all.

Amma Sue