It’s not all doom and gloom!

 

Dear Friends,

 Last time I wrote ‘Church News’ spring seemed a very distant prospect indeed. Now however the grass has been mown for the first time, snowdrops are all but over and the hellebores, daffodils and crocuses are looking great and there are buds appearing on almost everything.

In church we are now well into the season of Lent and our planning is beginning to focus on Easter, late this year, on Sunday 20th April. In case you fear that for the church this is a season full of doom and gloom please be assured that this is not the case!

  • Of course we have this short season to reflect on all God’s Son Jesus did for us whilst he was on earth.
  • Of course it is good to examine our own lives in the light of what Christ did for us. Jesus should be our role model and he sets a very high standard with his words in Mathew 5: 48; “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. By this standard, even the very best of us has some way to go!
  • Of course it is good to realise that our western life-style is often way beyond that of many of the poorest people on this earth. Thinking about that should prompt us to aim for a simpler life, concerned everybody is treated justly and paid a fair price for their labours – when we buy our clothes are we sure they are not made in sweat shops? When we use our cars and heat our homes do we consider the resulting emissions and what we might be doing to the environment? It is usually the poor and vulnerable who suffer the consequences long before we do.

    But all that does not mean that we cannot celebrate and enjoy ourselves. We have already had some really joyful spring weddings and there are others coming up shortly. The Lent lunches with their lashings of home-made soup and fresh bread are some of the best ‘light lunches’ available. In case you have missed them so far there are still two more on 2nd April at Halford Village Hall (this one combined with tea and cake!) and 9th April in Ettington Church.

    On Good Friday at 9.30am there will also be a Family Hot Cross Bun workshop in Alderminster Village Hall and, whilst there will be some time for reflection on the importance of this special but solemn day, there will also be plenty of fun and lots of Hot Cross Buns for all who attend.

    Nevertheless, the main celebration will come on Easter Day when all our churches will rejoice and celebrate the truth that Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead and has opened the way for us to become the people we were always meant to be, living a fulfilled life, using all the gifts and abilities given to us by God.

    That is well worth celebrating and there should be plenty of chocolate around too! For anyone who may not be keen on chocolate there are still all those wonderful spring flowers – yet another example of God’s goodness to us.

    A very happy and joyful Easter to everybody!

     

    John Horton

April 2014.

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