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Sarah’s Soundings

 

I am writing this still in the first half of Lent, when the challenge of giving (or taking) up something to mark this season is starting to bite. There is still, as some of us will be all too painfully aware, some time to go. This year Easter Sunday is (very nearly) as late as it can be – it will be 2030 before it is this late again and 2038 before it is later in the year (25th of April since you ask- the latest possible date for Easter.)

From time to time there is some news story tucked in right at the end before the weather forecast about moves to fix the date of Easter. This moveable feast is seen as a bit of a nuisance – other things, not least school holidays have to move with it. If we pin down Easter Sunday then we can start to get other things on an organised and predictable footing. And in a world where many things are unpredictable and disorganised – and often very much worse a bit of predictability can seem very attractive.

Debating the date of Easter is no new thing in the life of the Church- and it is a hard thing to calculate. The shifting date is because the date for Easter is connected to lunar calendar; the cycle of the moon as it travels round the earth. This doesn’t quite match up with our ordinary calendar which is based on the movement of the earth round the sun. We use the lunar calendar for Easter because this is how the date of the Jewish festival of Passover is calculated. And we need that connection with ancient Jewish thinking to start to make sense of all that we celebrate at Easter when it finally comes. The Passover is about freedom from oppression, it is about a renewed relationship with God and it is about the fact that God involves himself with our human lives and destinies not in some tidy and predictable way- but in the chaos and uncertainty of the world as it actually is. And that involvement cost God’s Son his life.

And after that darkest hour comes Easter – light breaking into the darkness; new life, new hope. Wonderful, life changing, unsettling, unpredictable.

May God bless you this Lent, this Holy week and this Easter

 

With Best Wishes Sarah..

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All Saints’ Church

Prayer

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,

        Though foolishly he lost the same,

             Decaying more and more,

                     Till he became

                       Most poore:

                        With thee

                      O let me rise

                As larks, harmoniously,

          And sing this day Thy victories:

Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

 

My tender age in sorrow did beginne

And still with sicknesses and shame.

      Thou didst so punish sinne,

               That I became

                 Most thinne.

                   With thee

                Let me combine,

            And I feel thy victorie:

      For, if I imp my wing on thine,

Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

 

Easter Wings by George Herbert: 

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