The Easter Message from Bishop Peter

We have kept Holy Week, and – under the limitations of circumstance – we have managed to give something of the time and attention which is our due to God.  Holy Week is the same each year in terms of its themes and its observances, but it is also different every year as it takes on its own emphasis and as we learn new insights.  For all that this Holy Week has been not as we would have wished, the very fact that it has been different has brought new perspectives.  We have been required to think in different ways, to present our worship using a range of technology, and not to take the familiar for granted.  That has not been always easy (although of course we have learnt from our experience of last year), but with the challenge has come a liberation which is entirely appropriate for the radical themes of these days. Back on the Third Sunday of Lent, I spoke about the Lord entering the Temple and overturning the tables of the money-changers, posing the question of what we might wish to overturn in our own lives.  That remains a constant question for us all, and everything in the Gospels of Holy Week is based on the overturning of expectations.   The triumphant entry into Jerusalem that is not what it seems; the astonishing gesture of service in the washing of feet; the sharing of bread and wine as the embodiment and perpetual re-presentation of sacrificial death; the annihilating experience of Good Friday; the commending of the Mother of the Lord as mother of the beloved disciple, and of the disciple as her son; death transformed into new life; the gardener who is the risen Christ:  in all of these things, expectation is overturned, and Easter calls us again to open our minds to the infinite and wondrous capacity of God.  I pray that God will renew these blessings in our hearts and minds, and that your Eastertide may be holy and joyful indeed.

In the risen Christ

+ Peter

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