Five hundred years ago Edmund Spenser, the great Elizabethan poet wrote about Easter. He wrote his poem as a gift to his beloved wife.
The poem captures the sacrifice of Easter and the call for lives to be turned around.
Above all it is about love. The divine love for us and our love for Him and each other.
MOST glorious Lord of Life! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowed hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou did die,
Being with Thy dear blood clean washed from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same again;
And for Thy sake, that all like dear did buy,
With love may one another entertain!
So let us love, dear Love, as we ought,
–Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.
As many of you know, about once a month I review the papers on Radio London. I can’t fail to notice how the content of the news have changed.
When I started I was reviewing both serious and silly stories. These days the stories are remorselessly bleak. Terrorism, violence and geo-politics seem to be the order of the day.
But is it the real story? And what is there to be done about it?
Christ came into a world full of geo-politics and violence. The news seemed to be remorselessly grim. And Good Friday was, of course, the height of grimness. The mission seemed to have failed and violence won.
But there was a bigger and better story to be told. In the midst of that violence God was there. He was there healing people, teaching them, inspiring them and walking with them. The Cross says that violence cannot win in the long-run and that Jesus’ story counters any narrative of nihilism and destruction.
It has been a pleasure sharing the Easter journey with you. We go forward as Easter people – full of hope and faith.
God is never finished with us.
Happy Easter week. Steve
Next Sunday’s services are at 9.30am and 11am.