Our Minister, Rev’d Chris Pritchard, sends the following Message for the month of April 2018 ….
As you read this letter my thoughts will be turning towards Holy Week and Easter. I write that with a certain amount of trepidation because for almost all ministers in the church it is a really busy season, having said that I do prefer Easter to Christmas. There are a couple of reasons for this, firstly there is less family pressure and secondly Holy Week and Easter is the supreme point of the Christian year.
Let me unpack those points. I will start by thinking about families and Easter. With Christmas there comes expectations of family gatherings, parties and present swapping. There is less of that pressure at Easter. At Easter it is nice to exchange Easter eggs and perhaps see family for a meal but there is not the same pressure to see everyone. Having grown up in a church family the most important thing has always been the Easter Sunday Church service.
My second point is that Holy Week and Easter are the high points of the Christian year. I am not saying that Christmas is unimportant. The celebration of the birth of Christ and the incarnation is a very special event; however Christmas would lose most if not all of its meaning without the events of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. If Jesus had not been betrayed, arrested, tried, crucified and resurrected we would not be following Jesus today.
Please note that in this letter I have always kept Holy Week and Easter together. They really are all one event. You cannot have the celebration of Easter Sunday without the pain and sorrow of the Holy Week and particularly the death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday. I fail to see how we can celebrate Jesus’ resurrection without mourning his death. I have had people comment to me that they don’t like Good Friday. To be honest I don’t think you are supposed to like Good Friday but you can’t have Easter Sunday without it.
This incidentally is why I am concerned that people in some churches go from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday without any recognition of the death of Jesus taking place in the week between. I know that not everyone can get to a Maundy Thursday Service or a Good Friday meditation but everyone should be able to read the bible story and reflect prayerfully on it so that when it comes to Easter Sunday you have thought about the death of Jesus. After all the central message of our faith is that Christ Jesus died on the cross and he arose from the grave to new life for us bringing us forgiveness and the hope of eternal life.
So I do hope that over Holy Week and Easter this year even if you can’t get to church you will find some time to reflect on the story so that you mourn Jesus’ death and celebrate the risen Lord. Of course I do hope that you will be able to attend all our Holy Week and Easter Services.
I do wish you a Happy Easter.