I think once you read this we will be well into Lent and all set to celebrate Easter – who knows what we will be able to do to then but I hope that you have something fun to look forward to! The week that I write this the season of Lent started. We’ve just celebrated Ash Wednesday, the day when Christians are marked with an Ash cross on their forehead. Lent is often thought to be a serious time, a time when Christians ‘give up’ things to prepare for the Easter festivities. Who feels like they’ve already given up a lot since the start of the first lock down – school, seeing family, meeting friends, celebrating birthdays? We’ve given up all sorts of things this year, and some people are grieving. It might seem like the whole time at the moment is giving up things! But we are coming closer and closer towards Easter.
Depending on where we are in our lives, we may be focussed on the things that reflect new life, joy and the future or we may be focussed on the things that reflect death, sorrow and loss. So often in our lives, these things go hand in hand. Two sides of a coin. Things that go together like; joy and sorrow, hope and future, life and death. As we welcome spring, we see the fading away of winter. Lent is a time to grieve over our losses and regrets and but also look forward to the new life breaking through on Easter day.
Many people from all sorts of backgrounds will talk about how they love to see the sunrise. It’s a beautiful, daily, new beginning. The dawn on Easter day is extra special. It’s a sign of hope, a great new beginning that reminds us that everything has changed, Jesus has risen and a new day, a new life is here, now. A day for feasting and celebrating – however you might do that, but definitely involving chocolate! The good news of Easter isn’t just involving chocolate though, but it is a message of hope and love. The message is that death, while that’s a real part of our lives, isn’t the final part of our story. And it’s a message that says we are loved and valued, here and now. There’s hope that our world, and our lives are changing – and changing for good! How ever you get to celebrate Easter, I pray that you will see glimpses of God’s love and hope in the coming weeks.
We’ll be celebrating Holy Week and Easter in different ways this year, both at St Georges and with other Churches in Littleport. Go on our Facebook page and look out for different ideas of how you can learn more about Easter and celebrate the day, with activities, prayer and chocolate! In the meantime, may you know God’s love and peace for you and those you love, Madeleine
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