Monthly blog

From the Vicar_April 2012

Posted by Sarah Smith on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Under: Vicar's Monthly Letters
Dear Friends,
Recently Kathy and I went to visit my mother in South Africa. We stayed part of the time with a clergywoman in Durban, and somehow we got on to the subject of funerals! Margot told me that it is becoming fashionable in South Africa for funerals to take place without the person lying there in the coffin; some churches even refuse to allow the coffin to be there in church! These aren't memorial services but actual funeral services. It's as if death is not a pleasant topic, so they refuse to think about it. And the churches which ban coffins in church presumably are saying, "The Christian faith is all about joy and triumph and hope." forgetting that, that joy and triumph and hope can only come THROUGH suffering. We all know only too well how much grotty stuff there is in the world, and I think it is ridiculous to try to hide from it. I find hugely reassuring the fact that someone's death is at the heart of the Christian faith, and yet that death achieved something and brought hope. A flimsy, cosy pretty faith, which doesn't face up to pain and suffering and death will collapse after a time, whereas the true Christian faith keeps us firmly on the ground but brings hope in the midst of pain.

That is surely what Holy Week is all about. Again, it's a nonsense to jump straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Day. It was, after all, on the Cross that Jesus took our sin on himself and enabled us to be put right with God. Easter Day is meaningless without Good Friday; the Resurrection is meaningless without the crucifixion; the joy and triumph mean little without appreciating the horror of the week before Easter Day. But what a comfort to know that Jesus experienced the worst of living in this world and yet triumphed through it, and that he wants to bring us through as well! That's something really worth celebrating!

This Holy Week we will be holding services virtually every day to help us go through it with Jesus. If you are able to, do come to some of them.

With best wishes to you for a powerful Holy Week, and a marvellous Easter!


Verse of the Month:

"He himself bore our sinsin his body on the tree [ie cross], so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

In : Vicar's Monthly Letters 



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