23rd April 2017 – 20th May 2017
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From the Rector – New Life and Growth
During Lent, Christians around the world prepared themselves for Easter by works of love and self-sacrifice. In the Bridge Benefice we have been working on how we can be more inviting and welcoming, how we can develop our faith and spirituality, how we can better serve our community, and how our church community can grow, meeting the spiritual needs of more and more people.
On Palm Sunday (9th April), we came together to begin the solemn celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his sacrifice on the Cross for all of us. We did this in union with the Church throughout the world – a powerful thought in these times separation and conflict. Christ entered Jerusalem to complete his work, to suffer, to die, and to rise again.
XV Easter Dawn
He blesses every love which 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 recognise 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.
© Malcolm Guite (https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/easter-dawn/)
The Dawn Service of Light!
We started the celebration of the the world-changing events of the Resurrection by getting up extra-early on Easter morning (16 April) and lighting a bonfire, the Easter Light, just before first light at 5.50 am. Our service began at 6.15 am, just before dawn (6.20), so that the sunrise could be part of our worship. Shafts of Light flooded Corhampton Church as the sun rose higher and as the service proceeded.
Sited by the Meon, the elements of the baptismal liturgy come to the fore and by beginning in the graveyard we remembered Jesus’ victory over death.
For forty days after Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and his defeat of the power of sin and death, remembering that he appeared to his disciples many times and told them about the kingdom of God. So on Ascension Day (25 May), we recall how he left this earth and returned to his Father and trusting in his reign over all creation, we submit to his kingly yet loving rule.
And just 10 days later at Pentecost (Whit Sunday), just like the followers of his own time, we await the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, God’s gift to his people, through whom we make Christ known to the world. It was from the powerful events of the first Pentecost that the Church grew.
So it is, back to where I started! In April and May we see our gardens, the crops and the new-born farm animals all growing, so we seek to see ourselves growing in spiritual depth and theological understanding, to enable us to grow in service to our local communities and then to grow in numbers. Join us in celebrating our plans for new growth at our Pentecost Family Eucharist on 4 June 2017.