Vicar's letter

Dear Friends,

‘XV Easter dawn’ by Malcolm Guite from, Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Church Year.

He blesses every love that weeps and grieves

And now he blesses hers who stood and wept

And would not be consoled, or leave her love’s

Last touching place, but watched as low light crept

Up from the east. A sound behind her stirs

A scatter of bright birdsong through the air.

She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,

Or recognize the Gardener standing there.

She hardly hears his gentle question, ‘Why,

Why are you weeping?’, or sees the play of light

That brightens as she chokes out her reply,

‘They took my love away, my day is night.’

And then she hears her name, she hears Love say

The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.

 

This beautiful, powerful sonnet by Malcolm Guite, captures the emotional rollercoaster that is Easter morning.  As much as Easter is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, Guite’s words and indeed the events of Holy Week remind us that this moment of ‘light’ comes at the end of a week of darkness - turmoil, confusion, betrayal, fear.  An unjust trial, mockery, the agony of the cross, the emptiness of grief.  All of this is present as we draw closer to Easter. 

We can all, no doubt, relate to these emotions not only because they are present in Holy Week but because they may, at different points, have formed part of our own life experience.  We too, like Mary Magadalene have probably stood at a grave and wept.  We may at some point in our lives have felt real fear either as a result of what we, or someone else who we know and love is experiencing.  Recent events in Christchurch, New Zealand, have reminded us of how the whole world can experience the desolation that Mary felt at the tomb.  How we all, as a result of that dreadful event, struggled to ‘focus through our tears.’ 

Yet as ‘Easter Dawn’ reminds us, the darkness wherein Mary dwelt for a while is not the end of the story.  For we too, like Mary Magadalene find ourselves at Jesus’ open tomb on Easter morning; we too hear the risen Christ call us by our name and turn to see him before us.  This then is the great hope of Easter, the great hope of the Christian faith.  It is one that changes us and indeed the world.  As our eyes meet his, we realise that we are never again without hope and light, because we are never again without Christ.  His risen light never leaves us, even when we or indeed our world finds itself dwelling in darkness.  For God’s love, through the risen Christ has turned Mary’s ‘night, and ours, to Day.’ 

I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.

Sarah