Newsletter from the Vicar
It can't be very often that Easter Sunday falls on April 1st, April Fool's Day. In some ways this is an appropriate title. In some eyes, the path Jesus took to be crucified would seem the path of a fool, yet he took that way for the sake of us all, to show God's great love for us. It reminds me of the familiar hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’. It is worth reading as it puts the message of Good Friday both simply and well.
If Christ was a fool, then followers of Christ have often been thought of as fools too. There is the expression “Fools for Christ”. St Paul says, in his first letter to the Corinthians, “We are fools for Christ's sake” and goes on to list the sufferings Christians have gone through. He also says “if there is any among you who fancies himself wise – wise I mean by the standards of this age - he must become a fool if he is to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly is God's sight.”
The 20th Century artist and visionary, Cecil Collins, both painted and wrote about “fools,” some of his pictures can be seen in the Tate Gallery. I would describe them as a bit like a modern William Blake. He wrote something called “The vision of the Fool.” He says, “The fool does not see the world with delusional knowledge: rather he marvels; he looks with the eyes of a child.” The fool -who he identifies with the artist and the poet, embodies “the eternal spirit, which in the dark winter of the world, continually proclaims the existence of new life, gives the faithful promise of the spring of an invisible kingdom, and the coming of light.”
When I lived in Basingstoke, the Church of All Saints I went to, had a new east window commissioned from Cecil Collins' ideas of light, angels and sun. A play on the word Sun and Son - Jesus the Son of God. I went back there last autumn as it celebrated 100years and the emblem used for the church is Cecil Collins' angel/light /sun however you look at it. It is a magnificent window of light and joy - resurrection.
Rev'd Barbara Stanton
Good Friday 30th March An hour at the Cross 12 noon Marston Magna
Music and Poetry for Good Friday 7pm Mudford Church
Holy Saturday 31st March 8pm Easter Vigil. We first held this last year. We begin with a new fire outside the Church to symbolize Jesus' resurrection and light candles from it. There are readings in darkness so a torch may be a good idea to supplement the candles. Then the lights go on with a great joyful noise when we get to the resurrection, so you need an instrument to play, keys, spoon and tin plate, bell, anything to make a joyful noise. (Kirk had brought an oboe reed last year which I was very pleased to manage to “crow!”) We then renew our Baptismal vows around the font and end with a celebratory drink and nibbles. (A bit shorter than Theological College when the readings went on all night and we ended with breakfast before we went home.)
Easter Sunday 1st April
Wednesday 4th April ‘Egg-citing Easter Family Fun Day’ Mudford Village Hall-see flyer
Sunday 8th April Annual Parochial Church Meeting Mudford Church 12.15pm
Monday 16th April APCM Rimpton Church 7.30pm
Wednesday 18th April APCM Marston Magna Church 7.30
To end, a quote from Gerard Hughs, a spiritual writer.
“The tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.” John19.42
“This is my body given for you”. “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit” “The Spirit, who lived in Jesus and raised him from the dead, now lives in you.”
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed alleluia- the ending to all our Easter services !