When you read this we’ll have travelled with Jesus through Lent, Holy Week and celebrated the joys of Easter Day. But as I write this I’m relaxing after a busy day.

I’ve just spent a lovely day in the Yorkshire Dales. A visit to the ruins of Jervaulx Cistercian Abbey, followed by coffee and cake, the cheese factory in Wensleydale, (yes, I did try and buy!) followed by lunch. We had a look around a 13th century church in Hubberholme then a walk around Brimham Rocks, where it was very misty and a bit chilly so coffee to warm up!

I’m spending a few days at the Vicarage in Bishop Monkton, near Ripon, with friends Sheila and Andy. Andy some of you will remember was a former organist at St. Mary’s.

We’ve just folded the Service Sheets for Palm Sunday and Easter Morning. Sheila is Associate Priest for two village churches and, just the same as all those responsible for leading worship, is preparing for the busy Easter period. I was reflecting with her on how comforting it is that wherever you go, whichever church you visit, the life of the Church has a certain familiarity, whatever their history. Annual Meeting notices, times of services, rotas can be seen in most churches, and then, of course, there are all the familiar symbols of our faith for all to see.

It’s very reassuring to know that many, many Christians are joining together through a common thread, and especially at this time of year, giving thanks for a God who was prepared to give His only Son for sacrifice, so that we could know the joys of a resurrection sunrise.

When we cannot see the end of things
When the darkness shines brighter than the sun,
When the wound will not be healed
When we can see no answer to our questions
Fill us with knowing you are there,
For us.

You are the first to weep over shattered lives,
The wounded healer who mends broken hearts,
The first to die and rise,
The holy victim who shouts through the silence,
“It is finished!”
When we are blinded by the power of present things,
Fix our eyes on you,
And break the power of our painful days
With reminders of new and better days still to come,
Your resurrection sunrise,
For us. AMEN

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