For some years I have subscribed to a monthly classic car magazine, and it always intrigues me that each edition arrives more than a month before the date on its cover! For those who see this website and my blogs more regularly it seems I have arrived at the opposite practice of writing each months’ blogs nearly a month after they are due! But it does give me a chance to reflect as well as look ahead on what a month holds. April is usually when Easter falls although it can be in the last week or so in March or even the end of April as is always connected to the ancient Passover festival of God’s people which is to do with the new moon and the spring equinox.
Passover, the paschal festival and the rather pagan-named ‘Easter’ (‘new life’) festival that has grown out of it is all about new life and new beginnings. The Passover celebrates when God delivered his people out of slavery in Egypt led by Moses across the Red Sea into freedom in the Promised Land. Jesus and his disciples were celebrating this annual festival when He took bread and wine and said His followers were to remember Him when bread is broken as Jesus body was broken on the cross, and red wine was poured out as Jesus blood was shed. This happened the next day as we remember Jesus’ last Passover supper on Maundy Thursday, and Jesus death on a cross on Good Friday. A pretty final end, or so it seemed, except that God raised Jesus to life 3 days later on what we now call Easter Sunday.
I would dearly love to own and run and maintain a classic car, but I know at the moment I can only dream, having neither the time, the skills, the expertise, experience, expertise or patience to take this on but maybe one day… But I am always fascinated by the articles about how someone discovers a rusty old wreck of a car and tracks down all the new parts, welds, fabricates new panels and the end result is a gleaming shiny working car that looks possibly even better than it did when it first left the factory many decades ago. Truly an example of new life and revival. And yet this is nothing compared to the wonder of God raising Jesus broken body to life, never to die again as Jesus did not die but was taken up to heaven on Ascension Day 40 days after Easter Day. If we can be so intrigued and marvel at someone putting an old car back together so that it can drive again, surely we must be more intrigued and marvel at this great act of God in raising Jesus back to a resurrection life.
And so life is all about new beginnings because God has made it so. Easter show that we can always have hope for the future even beyond this life. In our Parish and Community we have recently open our long awaited Singleton Hall extension. Something talked about for nearly 20 years and most (I admit including me) had given up any hope that it would happen. But we had a great opening just after Easter (how appropriate!) with the Mayor, Bishop, Parish and Borough Councillors with us to celebrate something wonderful and new. And as a church we stepped out and opened ‘The Grapevine’ – Singleton’s new community café. Do come and join us every Monday and Thursday morning between 8:30am & 12noon.
April is a time to think about new life and new beginnings. Jesus was raised to life. Unexpected new things happen around us. We too can know new life as a free gift from God because of Jesus. We have hope for new life not just in this life but for eternal life to come. For ever and ever. What a wonderful gift of God at Easter. I might be writing this well over a month late, but God’s gift of new life and new beginnings is never past.