The Vicar's letter for April

The Vicar writes………

I pen these notes whilst on holiday in the Lake District, staying at a cottage which we frequented many times as the family grew up.  It is a place of happy memories in the peace and serenity of the Newlands Valley. 

Early Spring is always special to me.  The grip of winter has eased, giving way to spring flowers and the birth of new lambs which are never far from their mothers.  The deep receding pockets of snow on the fells are a reminder of colder days gone by.

As a Christian, I believe there is that same sense of expectation and hope as we journey through Lent, but we can see the brightness of a new dawn emerging.  And although we know the Easter Story so well, it is one we never tire of celebrating or sharing.  This is all because of the joy and hope brought to us by God in the crucified and risen Christ. In order for us to experience the joy of Easter to the full, we too must go through the winter, which often has a sting in its tail, or final flourish. For the Christian that is the reassessment in Lent which culminates in Holy Week with all the emotions that brings.

Last Sunday I sat in the pews to worship God at Newlands Church.  As I looked east to the three windows, the two outer ones showed in hazy detail the slopes of the surrounding hills.  In the centre there was a simple, but effective, stained-glass window depicting in detail the victorious risen Jesus.  This was, to me, a metaphor for our Christian life: the beauty of God’s creation which we do not necessarily fully appreciate or understand so clearly at times, but at the centre of everything, to where our gaze and attention should be drawn, is Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who cares for us all. These windows served as a reminder to me of the supremacy and mystery of Christ, who in his risen existence can now be present anywhere and at anytime.

May all of us, this Eastertide, have a greater awareness of Christ, the one who brings meaning and purpose into our lives, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3.28)

Yours in His Service ,