The Lent JourneyPosted by Revd. David Frost Sun, April 12, 2009 13:54:05
I missed the repeat of the BBC’s programme about the last week in the life of Jesus of Nazareth in Holy Week although I did manage to see the last 30 minutes of the last episode.
I found myself outside the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene. The two disciples, John and Peter had already been and gone. What they made of it at the time is left to the viewer’s imagination.
Mary is distraught. Thinking that the body of Jesus had been stolen, she is beside herself with remorse and anger. Then the Voice speaks. As she turns around to see who it is addressing her, her eyes begin to open in utter astonishment and total surprise.
The next time you see her she is confronting a group of disillusioned and sceptical men. ‘What was he like,’ they ask? ‘Well, he was the same and yet he was different,’ she replies. Mary is about to be dismissed as a hallucinating and grieving woman when the Voice speaks. The eyes of the men begin to open in utter astonishment and total bewilderment.
One disciple believes it’s a trick of the light so the Voice speaks again.
His scepticism is shattered and his faith is restored.
The two men on the road to Emmaus find themselves discussing the events of the first Easter when a stranger joins them. He is asked to stay the night because it is getting late. The stranger sits at the table, takes bread, breaks it and gives it to them. He then takes a cup and offers it to them. It is so familiar. The Voice has spoken again. The eyes of the two men are also opened.
Peter is sitting in the market place with the Voice. They are having an open discussion. The Voice tells Peter that he has to leave. The Voice gets up and walks completely unnoticed through the market place and disappears in the crowd.
Easter is like that. The Voice still speaks and eyes are continually being opened.
Close your mind to the possibilities of the first Easter and the Voice will pass you by unrecognised.
The Christian Church gives a name to this Voice because it is one that is still speaking today. On Easter Sunday the Church will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. And the Voice will continue to speak and those who listen will find a love and a meaning to life itself in this rather self -centred and materialistic world.
I would like to leave you with something that was given to me by a young member of my congregation. It simply says:
Easter is coming
A day of happiness
So get ready
The Lord has died
Easter has come
Remember Jesus the Lord.
Jesus Christ is risen. The Voice still speaks!
I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.
The Lent JourneyPosted by Fay Westray Sat, April 11, 2009 10:38:02
“Christ emerged from his tomb almost 2,000 years ago. From the first days Christians have expressed their joy in Christ's new life by every type of symbol or ritual. They took to the ancient and natural symbol of the egg, by adding their own new and supernatural meaning.
So Christians "baptized" the egg as a symbol of Christ's passion, death and resurrection. Christians saw the egg's shell as a symbol of the protective darkness of the life-giving tomb; a hatching chick represented the risen Christ emerging from the tomb on Easter morning. The egg's shape, with neither beginning nor end, was a symbol of eternity. It clearly is also the "womb" of the tomb, where the Crucified was given new life.
So, new life emerges from an egg — Christ emerges alive from the tomb, formerly just a place of death. Life begets a new generation of life coming out of an egg. Christ generates new life for all creation…putting death to death!
The best egg is an empty egg… hatched out… purpose fulfilled...a new life begun. The best tomb is an empty tomb. The Lord whom you seek is no longer here, for He is risen just as He said! said the angel.”
Extract from an article by Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries
And for the young…. The Easter Egg is just fun!!!!
The Big Hunt
Put them in a box or in your smelly socks
Hide them in a drawer or in your teddy’s paw
Put them a hole or in the North Pole
Put them in a tree …
Then take them home for tea!
Matthew Westray Age 7
The Lent JourneyPosted by Rev. Hilary Fife Fri, April 10, 2009 09:42:40
The gentle prayers, meditations and drawings of an Anglican priest Graham Jeffery have long been a source of reflection and inspiration for me.
This is about today, from his ‘Thank You for coming – Gospel Reflections’:
I have only this to add, something I’ve been trying to say
for thrity-three years,
for thirty-three million years.
But only now,
in these three awkward hours,
do I seem to find the opportunity
of summing it all up.
In one word,
in one life,
in one death,
I love you.
And words from a homily by Fr Peter Gallagher which touched deeply me at the time, enough to remember them, and which still do:
This Good Friday we are invited to recognise who we are and what we have become but this recognition of who we are and what we have become is not, in the Passion, met with condemnation but with a kiss. This Good Friday we are face-to- face with ourselves and we are looking, with the look of Christ, not at disgrace but at goodness mistreated, at great suffering………and at hope.
The Lent JourneyPosted by Oliver Clayton Thu, April 09, 2009 09:50:59
I have chosen to post the poem Easter Hymn XVI by A E Housman. His list of things to do at Easter, in the second stanza, is particularly relevant I feel. Moving from the joyful and triumphant imagery of the new day to the bloody sky of the retreating day, this gives the poem a rather melancholic air. The poem provokes us (well me at least) to remember that Easter is not just about bunny rabbits and chocolate.
How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.
To-day I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.
Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.
The Lent JourneyPosted by Fay Westray Wed, April 08, 2009 23:37:43
I love this time of year, when Spring is in the air and blossom and buds are on the trees. The sky can be blue and clear and everything just seems more hopeful…
When I sometimes walk to work, and look at the trees and bushes, I have the chance to really notice the beauty and the infinite variety of colours, species, structures and forms of the natural environment… God’s creation.
When I huddle up with my son or daughter and read a book about whales and dolphins or a book about the Earth and its geography, I cannot help but wonder at its form, the order, the organisation and again the infinite variety and beauty… God’s creation.
When I look the natural world, I can see only a reflection and a song of God’s kingdom and economy. In all created things, the seed of new life is held within, in all created things the potential for infinite procreation is inherent; every branch, can become two, every twig can become numerous… every creature can reproduce…. God’s creation.
How can they laugh and mock at those who believe in a creator God? I have no trouble in believing that animals and plants have changed over the years… but I also believe in a hand that creates, sculpts, prunes and develops, with love, care, direction and purpose.
How can it be logical, scientific and rational that order spontaneously evolves from chaos? It never does in any visible, observed phenomenon. How can the survival of the fittest result in an infinite variety of species and not the survival of the few? How can any creature spontaneously and consistently continue to evolve and transform over millions of years, perfectly adapt to a totally new and hostile environment and yet not wipe itself out in the process… and what of the beauty of that creature that thrills our soul and can take our breathe away?
And what of us… mankind? Beings with a mind, body, spirit… full of emotions, fears, joys, love, hate, talents, consciousness. Beings which thirst for an idol to fill our soul? Is it really so sensible, so logical that we developed spontaneously, without a blueprint to the complex being that we are today?
The bible tells us that God made us in his image, and we as humanity display infinite variety in our faces, our personalities, our talents. We are at our most fulfilled and satisfied when we create, when we love, when we relate. When we work with God and for his kingdom, our efforts have the seeds of procreation within them. When a work is truly blessed and directed by God, it branches, effortlessly out into a myriad of directions, yet holds its core, its form, its organisation, its order.
Jesus, God in human form, came to show us, to give voice to, what we were created to be. Jesus calls us to be like him because it sets us free to enjoy our perfect purpose, to live in union with our Creator and with each other. We all fall short and have our moments when we separate ourselves from God, but God imparts the greatest gift, the gift of grace, which forgives us, redeems and amazingly embraces us and loves us the moment we turn in his direction. This is the ‘good news’ we as the ‘body of Christ’ are called to share. God loves us, he craves our recognition, our love, and our passion but in his grace, he leaves the decision with us to make. While ‘we dare to consider his offer’, he never stops calling us, wooing us or loving us. Amazing Grace!
The Lent JourneyPosted by Ray Wheeler Tue, April 07, 2009 20:03:25
I was recently introduced to a piece of Old English poetry dating from the 8th century entitled The Dream of the Rood. The poem describes the crucifixion and resurrection from the viewpoint of the Cross. The name ‘Rood’ is the old name for Cross and many churches have rood screens dividing nave from chancel on which stands a large crucifix.
The Dream of the Rood is divided into three parts. The first section is the Dreamer’s reaction to his vision of the Cross in which he sees the Cross raised up, covered with gold and jewels but yet notices a stain of blood on its side. In the second part the Rood begins to speak and recalls being cut down in the forest, taken by its enemies to support criminals, then details its emotions as it realises it is to be the cross on which Jesus Christ will be crucified. The Rood and Christ become one – pierced with nails, mocked and tortured, and finally killed and buried. The Cross is resurrected, like Christ, and adorned with gold and silver. Finally, the Cross announces that because of its suffering and obedience, it will be honoured above all trees and commands the Dreamer to tell others what he has seen and heard. The Dreamer’s hope of a heavenly home is renewed and he vows to seek again the glorious Rood.
Here is an excerpt of the translation from Old English in which the Rood describes Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday:
Then best wood spoke these words:
"It was long since--I yet remember it--
that I was hewn at holt's end,
moved from my stem. Strong fiends seized me there,
worked me for spectacle; cursèd ones lifted me .
On shoulders men bore me there, then fixed me on hill;
fiends enough fastened me. Then saw I mankind's Lord
come with great courage when he would mount on me.
Then dared I not against the Lord's word
bend or break, when I saw earth's
.................I shook when that Man clasped me. I dared, still, not bow to earth,
fall to earth's fields, but had to stand fast.
Rood was I reared. I lifted a mighty King,
Lord of the heavens, dared not to bend.
With dark nails they drove me through: on me those sores are seen,
open malice-wounds. I dared not scathe anyone.
They mocked us both, we two together . All wet with blood I was,
poured out from that Man's side, after ghost he gave up.
Much have I born on that hill
of fierce fate. I saw the God of hosts
harshly stretched out. Darknesses had
wound round with clouds the corpse of the Wielder,
bright radiance; a shadow went forth,
dark under heaven. All creation wept,
King's fall lamented. Christ was on rood.
Translation copyright © 1982, Jonathan A. Glenn
For the full text please see
The Lent JourneyPosted by Ed Barker Mon, April 06, 2009 17:32:08
On our lives
A time to deflect
Attention from mundane things
A time to repent
For all our misdeeds
A time to make peace
With our misguided friends
A time to abstain
From food and wine
A time to pray
For those in pain
A time to thank God
For all that we have
A time to pledge ourselves
To doing good whenever we can.
lent means a time to sacrifice some to sacrifice some form of pleasure, such as
chocolate, television, etc. We sacrifice to prove ourselves and to keep
faithful in the eyes of God.
practice lent to follow Jesus and his forty days in the desert. It is also a
time when we should reflect on our lives and be thankful that we have so much
whilst many others have so little.
The Lent JourneyPosted by Penny Bloss Sun, April 05, 2009 16:50:03
Feelings connected to this period of Lent are sometimes made more meaningful to me through the medium of music and some of the lyrics that we sing or listen to others sing.The following Graham Kendrick hymns seem to express what is in my thoughts and in my heart. I hope they will give all who read this blog both commitment to follow our Lord through Holy week and and the hope and joy of Easter to come.
Extract from from The Servant King
There in the garden of tears
my heavy load he chose to bear
his heart with sorrow was torn.
'Yet not my will but yours,'he said.
Come see his hand and his feet
the scars that speak of sacrifice ,
hands that flung stars into space ,
to cruel nails surrendered.
my Lord,what love is this,
That pays so dearly,
that I, the guilty one,
may go free!
Amazing love ,O what scrifice,
the son of God,giv'n for me.
My debt he pays,and my death he dies,
That I might live,
that I might live.
And so they watched him die,
But O,the blood he shed
flowed for me!
And now this love of Christ
shall flow like rivers;
come ,wash your guilt away,