We move from ‘Hosanna’ to ‘Crucify’, and then to ‘Hallelujah, He is Risen!’.
This season of the church year encompasses so many aspects of faith and human experience that it challenges and blesses us on all levels.
Are we hopeful, snatching at good news, seeing but not altogether getting the picture? The Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday holds a poignant balance of confidence and apprehension, for the story is not yet over. Are we grieving, in pain, desolate, ashamed, or guilty? The Crucifixion speaks to our distress and offers forgiveness. Do we rejoice, feel overwhelmed by joy and wonder, and yet need to understand further? Easter morning comes with an almost incredible statement of new life in the Resurrection of Jesus.
As a Deanery, we are blessed in many ways and I hope that each one of us can speak of some particular blessing in our parishes and projects. We are also challenged to look at things afresh, and to apply faith to new and emerging situations. One major change is that we are now working in partnership with Crewkerne Deanery, so our boundaries are extending as we welcome this collaborative ministry with laity and clergy over the combined area from Haselbury Plucknett to Pitminster.
Also, we are all very aware of the urgent need to address matters of climate change and eco-responsibility, globally and locally and our responsibility to protect the lives of others by the way we live as Christians and in our stewardship of church buildings and land.
God’s love includes all of us, so we are also beginning a discussion on matters of faith, sexuality, and gender, connecting with the Church of England report ‘Living in Love and Faith’.
Beneath, and of foundational importance, there is each parish and all who live therein. As times change, we look forward to seeing more lay leadership at parish level, along with anticipated changes in clergy deployment.
In all of this, we do indeed need a Saviour, and the essential confidence of Resurrection as we walk onwards.
May God bless and guide each of us through the Easter season, in the name of Jesus our Risen Lord,