Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we celebrate Easter Day and begin the journey of Easter, The Great Fifty Days.
I remember some years ago in Scone on Easter Day, when I had to collect a few things from the Supermarket after worship. It was something we had forgotten to get for lunch in the midst of all the demands that Holy Week and preparing for Easter bring. I collected our couple of items and headed to the checkout. I recall chatting to another person at the checkout who exclaimed how glad he was that Easter was almost over. “Over,” I exclaimed, “It’s only just begun. The season goes on for the next fifty days.” Well his jaw dropped and this look of puzzlement that turned to some kind of deep concern appeared on his face. “Don’t worry, I assured him, it doesn’t mean we have to have some massive supply of Easter Eggs. They’ll probably be off the shelves in the next day or so. The next commercial opportunity will be taking over.” A smile appeared on his face and a sense of relief seemed to help him to relax.
“Just as well,” he exclaimed, “I couldn’t cope with anymore of this.” “With Jesus we can though,” I simply replied. I didn’t think he knew quite how to respond to that, but it was an interesting encounter.
The Great Fifty Days do offer us that sense of continuing journey that began in the Season of Lent with it’s time of listening and reflection and a practice or practices that we tried can continue on in some fashion. These liturgical seasons can enable us to be more attentive to Jesus and highlight how we are seeking to follow him in our lives. ‘We are an Easter people, alleluia is our song’ - St Augustine
May you journey well with Christ this Easter week.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.