Monthly letter from the Clergy
This months letter is from Revd. Jenny Gray
And they lived happily ever after...so ends many a fairy tale or film.
The hero/heroine triumphs over obstacles/baddies to achieve their dream and we’re left with warm feelings of satisfaction. And they lived happily ever after...is the hope for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and every couple on their wedding day.
Easter seems a ‘happy ever after’ ending too. After the darkness of Holy Week, when Jesus is betrayed, tortured, put to death and buried, we shout ‘Alleluia’, fill our churches with flowers and celebrate with (too many?) chocolate eggs. Easter is upbeat. Jesus is alive. God’s love triumphs over evil, suffering and death. But don’t be misled. Easter isn’t the ‘happy ever after’ ending we’d like. Easter is a ‘to be continued’ story, with Jesus passing his baton onto us.
When Jesus returns to heaven on Ascension Day, he leaves us to continue his work of redeeming /saving/healing the world. The way to ‘happy ever after’ is us continuing to live God’s way of love, caring for the poor and sick, the homeless and difficult. Us speaking up for justice - the focus of Christian Aid Week 13th – 19th May (see Rev Jen 10). The Church is not just bricks and mortar, beautiful as our village churches are. The Church is not just services and committees, although these play a vital part. The Church is people taking God at His word, following Jesus’ example, trusting God to bring us through evil, suffering and death. The Church is people responding to Jesus’ invitation (despite our limitations) to bring new life to others... working for the ‘happy ever after’ ending we’d like for our world – an end to war and terror, injustice, suffering and abuse, the flourishing of all people ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’
Continuing Jesus’ story of making ‘earth as it is in heaven’ is the focus of the Archbishops’ international call to Prayer during the 9 days between Ascension Day (10th May) and Pentecost/Whitsun (20th May) - details on www.thykingdomcome.global website and in the Parish News.
Balancing local needs and priorities against the wellbeing of all people, including refugees, isn’t easy. But climate change, violence and terror don’t stop at national boundaries. Ignoring displaced people and global threats won’t make them go away. Each person has a choice. ‘Happy ever after’ begins with our love, our generosity, our compassion building God’s kingdom of justice and peace. Changing our world begins with us; our refusal to despair, look the other way or retaliate, knowing we can make a difference one step at a time. And they lived happily ever after...there’s no quick fix to building a better world...
Alleluia. Christ is risen...to be continued...
Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.