Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:1-10)

Do not be afraid! Death will never have the last word. Jesus is alive. Alleluia!

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward, by John Donne

Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward, by John Donne

This is one of my favourite poems, John Donne perfectly blends a formal complex style with the very human desire of repentance, of turning around, to becoming more Christ like (O think me worth Thine anger, punish me, Burn off my rust, and my deformity; Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,). It’s a poem that has spoken strongly to me several years over, and contains too much for me to delve into now, so I will leave this with you for your own reflections on this holy day.

Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees God’s face, that is self-life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They’re present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and Thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.

Easter Roadshow

Easter Roadshow

Last Christmas a number of clergy from Ardudwy Deanery and Llŷn & Eifionydd Deanary got together to organise and run a Christmas roadshow which went around different churches, inviting schools to bring their children for a half day of activities, films and drama which helped tell the Christmas story.

This year it is just the clergy from Ardudwy Deanery, but over the three weeks leading to the school half term, they will tell around 450 children the events of the first Holy Week and the first Easter using film, games, craft and drama.

Is been really exciting to be part of the organising team this time, last Christmas I only helped with the technical side, but it’s been really interesting to see things from the other side and how easy the organisation has been. In reality it would be very difficult to put on an event like this on your own, but because we work in a team it has made it all possible. It’s great to bounce ideas around and develop something that will both engage the kids and explain to them the story and importance of Christ’s death and resurrection.

We pray for the children we meet, their families and teachers, that they will find new joy in the easter season, and come to a new and deeper relationship with Christ.