St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - April 2022

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.

As we move into the final 2 weeks of Lent I invite you to consider how many Easters you have celebrated, how may Easter Eggs have you given and received………

Now consider how many times you have seen the church stripped bare and had your feet washed by others on Maundy Thursday, stood outside in the dark for the reading of the gospel, or sat through a Good Friday meditation?

Every year churches invite people to step into Holy Week and immerse themselves in the story of crucifixion and resurrection, to have their feet washed, to stay in silence and hear the Good Friday narrative, to rise at dawn to welcome the risen Christ.

This spring as we walk the way of the cross we have much to carry in our hearts regarding our own particular moment in history.
In terms of the big arc of history our times seem to echo huge moments in history like the fall of Jerusalem 70 years after Jesus resurrection, or in the times of St. Augustine the fall of the Roman Empire, or the 14th century when the black plague swept through the land and more recently the two world wars.

Our reliance on the constancy of the structures of society, the norms and the patterns, the regular supply of fuel, the affordability of living, the security of employment, the successful harvest, is laid bare when crisis hits.

Mostly we tend to bumble along almost unquestioning until something breaks.

When the security fails and something is broken open in our lives, or in the life of the world, we are challenged to think again. This challenge is at the heart of the crucifixion who or what now, do we need to take down from the cross?

As Jesus cried out from the cross an earthquake shook the whole of Jerusalem and the curtain was rent in the temple. Today many things seem to be shaking our foundations, war in Ukraine, climate change, pandemic, starvation in Yemen… There may be awful events in our own personal lives. Now more than ever we need to know the light of the empty tomb that followed the horror of Good Friday.

In Holy Week 2022 let’s draw alongside one another in this, our foundational story of hope and fear, of love and redemption.

Jesus invites us to discover that our fear is woven into God’s own life, whose life is mysteriously woven into all the scary things that can and do happen to us as human beings together on this earth. This is liberation from fear in the midst of a fearful situation’ James Finley ( Centre for Action and Contemplation)

Could you step into your fear of the unknown this April and join in with the services of the Triduum*, following Christ to the cross and beyond, to a place where fear is not irradicated but where we learn that we are not alone?

This year on Easter morning I will be at church at 5.45 am, as the sun rises, to light the Easter Fire and to face the challenge of living a risen life whatever the coming year may bring.

Will you join me?
*3 days of prayer (usually associated with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday)