Pastoral letter for Easter 2016

Dear Friends,

Easter was very early this year.  It was almost as early as it can be.  This year, more than most, it seemed out of step with the academic and civic calendars that try to keep the spring holidays to the first fortnight in April.  But that’s how it is when the Church Calendar continues to keep Easter as a lunar festival – one that has a potential variance of up to 35 days.

Over the centuries, and in recent days too, there have been various attempts to regularise the celebration of our most central feast.  It has been suggested that, perhaps, it might be good to keep Easter  each year on the Sunday following the second Saturday in April.  Of course all the branches of the Church would have to agree to this if we were to end the different celebrations that continue to be kept.  Who knows, within our lifetime we might see Easter fixed in the same way that Christmas is.

For some this is important, for others it is not.  I suppose what is important is that we celebrate Easter at all.  The resurrection of our Lord, and his conquering of death and hell, is the very foundation of our Christian faith.  His victory is our victory over the grave.  It is the assurance that there are no limits to God’s love for us and nowhere too dark for the brilliant light of that love to shine and overcome.

Each Sunday throughout the year is, in a very real sense, a mini Easter.  Each week we are called to participate in recalling his passion and celebrating the new life he came to share with us.

In the face of all the suffering and fear of our broken world, the Risen Christ proclaims the ultimate victory of life over death and of love over hate.  In Christ God seeks to unite our everyday experience with himself, that we might live as people of joy and hope; for ‘The Lord is Risen.  He is Risen indeed.  Alleluia!’

Yours in the faith,

Gordon

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