From Revd Christopher Deakin

THE RETURN OF HOPE 

On 23rdApril we remember the story of St George defeating the dragon! Although this is the stuff of legend, we face our own dragons today. We are engaged in a spiritual battle against the powers of sin, Satan and death. In this Easter season, we remember that the great battle has been won. By His cross and resurrection, Jesus secured the victory over sin, Satan and death. The resurrection is the proof that they are no longer too powerful to resist. 'Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory?' (1 Cor 15:54,55).

This month starts with Easter, which is a lovely thought. Whatever else, Easter speaks of new life, of fresh starts and the return of hope. 

The whole traditional story is about darkness defeated by a light, which can never be extinguished. That's why, in our hemisphere, Easter seems to fit in well with the changing season. Fresh flowers in the graveyard match the Easter hymns inside the church: The Lord of life is risen today … bring flowers of song to strew his way'.

It's a strange fact that all through the long history of humankind, despite the evidence of our eyes, people have stubbornly refused to believe that death is the end. They buried their dead with food and implements they would need in the next life, whatever name they gave it - Valhalla, the Elysian Fields, Abraham's Bosom or Nirvana. Jesus called it 'the kingdom of heaven' or 'eternal life'. The very idea of heaven is beyond our comprehension, because we can't image a life not lived in our familiar dimensions of space, time and physicality. But God lives beyond time and space, and Jesus said He is 'Spirit'.

It's good that there are some things to believe in which we cannot possibly understand now. Although one day, St Paul said, ‘We shall’. Until then, we wait and trust, and our Easter hymns and flowers are signs of the annual return of hope.

My very best wishes

Christopher

APRIL SERVICES

8thApril           2ndSunday of Easter         9.45 am Eucharist

15thApril        3rdSunday of Easter           9.45 am Family Eucharist       6.30 pm BCP Eucharist

22ndApril        4thSunday of Easter           9.45 am Eucharist

19thApril        5thSunday of Easter           9.45 am Eucharist