Looking back… Looking Forward…
I am writing this blog as we begin the most important week in the life of the church. Today is Palm Sunday when we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and as we begin to walk with him through the last week of his life. Through the last supper, the washing of the feet, the crucifixion and eventually to the resurrection, next Sunday.
As we journey through the week we look back and we remember how the saviour of the world was killed. We look back and watch as his disciples betrayed and disowned him, but we look back with the knowledge and hope of the resurrection.
Many of you may look back at the first Easter we celebrated in COVID times. I have over the past few months been looking back over COVID and reflecting on how far we have come and how God is good. Out of all that suffering we have emerged to the resurrection hope that is offered to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Recently I looked back at my first Easter Blog that I wrote for Easter 2020 and this is what I wrote:
As I reflect on Easter Day, in the places we find ourselves, I am once again taken back to my walks in St James’ Gardens. On Good Friday, as I walked, I was reflecting on Christ’s death, but I was also reflecting on Christ’s resurrection and the picture I offer you today is that of a Horse Chestnut Tree. When I began my walks about a month ago this tree was stripped of its leaves and now it has beautiful, vibrant green leaves sure sign and hope that spring has sprung and that summer is on its way. Out of the darkness and death of autumn and winter has come new life and resurrection. As you look at nature there has over the past few days been a real sense of growth, of beauty, of life, and of resurrection hope.
In many ways life has not changed that much! I still walk in St James’ park each morning, now with my dog, Sally, but I do so in grateful thanks that we have come through the pain, suffering and isolation of COVID.
As we look back, we also look forward and while many still suffer with the effects of long COVID and mourn the loss of loved ones, we know that we have come through what was a challenging time and we know that God walked with us. We have come through the darkness of COVID to the resurrection hope of a new day and a new beginning.
In looking back to look forward we as a Cathedral Team feel that it is now time to end these weekly blogs. They did their job in keeping us connected in a very difficult time. We will of course Blog when something major happens. Some things have to die in order to be reborn and that is what Easter is all about. Out of the death of Christ comes a world-wide faith in a God who knows and loves you.
So as we look back let us look forward and remember what I said at Easter 2020:
Wherever you celebrate Easter today hold on to the joy and peace that the resurrection of Christ brings, hold on to the hope that from the darkness of Covid 19 light and life will come. Hold on to the knowledge that, while we celebrate Easter in a different way we can all proclaim.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!