Outlook 21
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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From the Rector
What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. T S Eliot 1888-1965 Four Quartets, ‘Little Gidding – 1942’ The Resurrection of Christ from the dead is difficult to grasp and get hold of. Unlike the Christmas story, we can’t identify easily with an historical event that does not relate to experience. Birth is easy; so sadly is death, but rising again goes beyond believing! For Christian people the ‘beyond believing’ is the only way the life of Jesus Christ makes sense, and oddly gives birth and death a more symbolic power than is first recognised. Historical event At the risk of trying to make everything sound too simple, it seems to me that rather than arguing about the historical validity of a dead body being brought back to life and the science that would say, How ridiculous!, it might be easier to see the historical event as a picture drawn to describe an experience. What seems to have happened is that the overarching presence of Jesus returned to the disciples’ experience in a way that totally convinced them he was alive again. The sense of energy within those early followers was overwhelming. It overtook them, consumed them and, regardless of consequence, motivated a movement which claims the same overwhelming energy today. In short, this is the Christian story, but grasping it and getting hold of it can be hard. I would like to suggest, whatever your religious background, or whatever basic philosophy of life guides you, that the Christian understanding of life is worth a look, if not some further investigation. Reading the papers, hearing the world news, concerning ourselves with ourselves and the troubles of neighbour and friend makes for a downheartedness which sees only destruction. Despair is easily fed into us. We want an end to things, but then what? If only the world were different. I want an end to pain, to the stress of living in all its forms, and an end to the hopelessness with which, from time to time, I am consumed. The Christian Easter story is about an end becoming a beginning. It is about finding the means by which we can make a new start. We need, I think, to be drawn into the experience of those early followers of Jesus who found that the end of things, be it with work, relationships or even life, might just be the place where new things can begin. Resurrection then needs to be understood as an everyday experience. It is ours to have if we want it. I wish you a very happy Easter – Kevan S McCormack