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All Saints’ Church Lawton
Sharing the Love of 
Jesus in our Community

 

A letter from Steve - Our Rector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter – a foolish story?

 

April fools day is on Easter Sunday this year, and so we will have the chance to play practical jokes and pranks on one another as we come to church.  Maybe that’s an appropriate event for April Fools’ Day – some may feel that we are fools to celebrate a King who was put to death on a cross!

 

We Christians are used to being made fools of.  Even two thousand years ago most believed that the humiliating death of the ‘King of the Jews’ on a brutal cross alongside common criminals was foolish.  To suggest that God would actually come to earth to die in such a way is just ridiculous!

 

When we lived in Crewe we were part of the Good Friday Passion Play, where we would go out on the streets to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  I remember always feeling a little foolish as we went out to begin this act of witness with crowds of shoppers looking on bewildered.  

 

But then I remembered how Jesus must have felt, being arrested and put on trial – then flogged and marched through the streets carrying his own cross.  How humiliating for the King of the Universe to accept such treatment for you and for me.  Compared to that, my  embarrassment is a small thing.

 

This Eastertime we can join with Christians in Alsager, out on the streets, giving Hot Cross Buns out on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. And then at dawn on Easter morning we can gather to sing hymns and celebrate the resurrection together.  It might be cold, but this is our big chance to stand up and be counted as Christians in our town – and that is far more important than how I might be feeling.

 

Getting out and sharing the story like this is important because so many in our society don’t really understand what Easter is about.  Perhaps that’s why Easter has become just another time to share presents – especially of chocolate.

 

If you look at the shops they have been full of chocolate eggs from the beginning of January – so a visitor to this planet would say that it's all about chocolates, sweets and over-eating.  Of course, there are rabbits and lambs and other small furry things as well – that speak of Spring and new life.

 

So there you have it – a nice comfortable festival to mark the end of winter, the new life of Spring, and a chance to eat too many sweets.  Is that the truth about Easter?

 

The truth is something far more gritty, a story shot through with deepest darkness and with glorious light.  It is a story that takes us through all the emotions, from betrayal and abandonment, torture and death – all the way to dizzy joy and laughter.

 

After the searing loss of Good Friday, when hope seems lost and evil triumphs, Easter rises as the most joyful day of the year for Christians.  Christ has died for our sins. We are forgiven.   Christ has risen!  We are redeemed!   We can look forward to an eternity in His joy! Hallelujah!  

 

The Good News of Jesus Christ is a message so simple that you can explain it to someone in a few minutes.  It is so profound that for the rest of their lives they will still be ‘growing’ in their Christian walk with God.

 

This poem by Megan Carter captures the range of emotions that make up this story:

 

Chocolate eggs and cuddly bunnies

Mark the start of Easter time.

But where’s the cross, the Lord’s

great passion

That took our sin both yours and mine?

 

Once a babe but now a king

Born of David’s royal line

See the crown of tangled thorns

Rammed upon the head divine.

Jeering now they strip and beat Him

Nail Him to a cross on high

Throwing dice they shout and mock him

Watching there for Him to die.

 

Little did they know the outcome

That it was the Father’s plan

That the Son should give His life

Our sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb.

 

Taken down and wrapped in spices

In a borrowed tomb He’s laid,

Stone rolled hard against the entrance

Guards and seal securely made.

 

The women and disciples seek Him

He who death could not hold down

Risen now, forever living,

Wearing now the victor’s crown.

 

He the firstfruits of the Father,

Secures for us a heavenly place

What great joy and celebrations

When we see Him face to face.

 

I hope we can put aside our chocolate eggs and sweets for a while, to really appreciate the journey Jesus took to the cross, to death and to resurrection life.  Because he took that journey, alone, for you and for me.