As I sit down to write this article, I am joyously aware that the sun is just passing over the equator – the vernal equinox marking the beginning of Spring. What is perhaps more exciting is that by the time you read this newsletter the clocks will have been moved forward and we will officially enter British Summertime. We are seeing abundant signs of new life in our gardens, the winter is behind us (hopefully) and we begin to anticipate the long sunny summer days.
Many of my messages relate to the seasons -an easy option when producing a bimonthly publication. However, I feel we can all relate to these specific times of year.
It is from the Anglo-Saxon word “lencten”, meaning “Spring” that we derive the term Lent – a 40-day period leading up to Easter when the western church traditionally reflects upon Jesus’ time in the desert, being tempted by the devil.
Due to the origins of the term “Lent”, perhaps I should be more sympathetic with those who simply look forward to Easter for its images of bunny rabbits and cute chicks, not forgetting the chocolate eggs to be consumed with relish. All celebrating the new life spring brings.
However, for the Christian the concept of ‘new life’ has a much deeper meaning and greater significance. In April, when we celebrate Easter, we will reflect upon Jesus submitting to the will of His Father in the most costly fashion – dying on the cross for us. Then on the Sunday morning we will rejoice in the good news of His glorious resurrection.
All of this brought about God’s perfect plan for us. Through His death and resurrection we are offered new life – an opportunity to start again.
“In his great mercy God has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
|Phil Clowes is an elder on our leadership team.
Taken from the latest edition of our bi-monthly church newsletter.