Outlook 21
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Happy Easter!
23 Happy Easter! Nothing is so beautiful as spring … Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens … The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush The descending blue; the racing lambs too have fair their fling. Gerard Manley Hopkins: Spring ‘Nothing is so beautiful as spring’, echoes Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. Mole was spring-cleaning his little home, causing dust and whitewash splashes and general chaos! Eventually he’d had enough and headed ‘upwards’ to the sunlight. His adventures began … Each year our spiritual journey progresses through Lent to Easter. On this adventure, we can experience new understanding, new purpose, new healing, new life. Ancient pagan festivals were adopted by Christians to celebrate Easter; the name derives from Ēostre, the goddess of spring, and it was she who was said to give the world new life each year. Easter eggs continue the old custom of using the egg to symbolise new life. Spring heralds optimism Springtime is more profound than a chocolate-box image of Wordworth’s daffodils, as attractive and symbolic as they may be. At its heart is resurrection in ALL its forms and connotations. Resurrection equals regeneration, re-birth, renewal, which in turn equals new life and new beginnings. Spring heralds optimism, hope, promise and POSITIVITY. Easter is a time to look forward, whatever our religious persuasion. The inspiration of seeing a new-born baby, a playful lamb, the splendour of budding blossom – or indeed that ‘host of golden daffodils’ – can inspire us to be in awe of the unseen force and supreme energy behind all these miracles of life and nature. For Christians, Easter strengthens hope and faith. We miss the full implications of what God did in the Resurrection if we think of it as something that just happened to Jesus. Resurrection is God’s way in the world. We see the purpose all around us in Spring. Seeds must perish to invoke new growth. The cycle of nature is from life, to death, to new life. That same pattern extends to our own lives. Easter clarifies what is otherwise, for many, merely an enigma. Renewal, regeneration, rebirth. These three ‘Rs’ encourage us to look purposefully forward. To ensure that we observe the sanctity of human existence, and preserve in all ways possible what is still a wonderful and exciting world, a world we should always see as it could be, not as it is. Spring and Easter are exhilarating times, when we glimpse God’s glory, full of mystery and promise. Happy Easter! Michael Booth