I cannot believe it has been just over a year since I was appointed as Vicar of All Saints’ Marple. Time obviously flies… when you are having fun! As my first year draws to a close and my second one starts my attention is drawn to Easter.
Easter at All Saints’ has always been a special time and I am especially excited that this year, in conjunction with Churches Together in Marple and Mellor, All Saints’ will be hosting a Riding Lights production called “Crosslight”. “Crosslight” draws us into the dramatic events of Christ’s Passion and into the experience of one disciple who failed. The show asks questions about what we learn through failure, the importance of forgiveness and the power of redemption and should be something which everyone can readily engage with. If you haven’t already, I would really encourage you to buy two tickets for yourself and a friend and come on either Thursday 30th or Friday 31st of March 2017.
During Holy week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8pm, we will be opening the church for a time of personal reflection, followed by Compline (Night Prayer). We will be doing something a bit different this year. Using large photographs of art work done by the Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, we will be exploring a modern day version of the Stations of the Cross. The traditional “Stations of the Cross” have been transformed into the contemporary world of Latin America where Roman soldiers are now armed guards and issues of human rights, loneliness, war and suffering, children in need, ecology and debt are explored. The art work reflects a theology of liberation where problems of dependency, poverty and injustice are looked to be eradicated as the Kingdom of God is established.
Esquivel’s work reminds us of the relevance of the cross in our modern world today. Christ’s suffering on the cross and dying for us speaks into every aspect of our lives and culture. There is nothing that the Cross doesn’t touch or have the power to redeem. Noone that cannot be forgiven and then transformed because of what Jesus did for us on the tree of shame, of taking all our sin and dealing with it in His death.
The paradox of Easter is that as we stare into the reality of the sacrifice in death that Jesus wrought for us, we are then, three days later, brought to a place of eternal hope through His mighty and victorious resurrection. Romans 8:11 wonderfully reminds us of the hope we have through Christ’s resurrection.
‘The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.’
This literally means that through the resurrection and Christ’s victory over evil and death we are able to receive the Spirit of God into our hearts and lives. What an amazing privilege, what an awesome and loving God we have. Not that we did anything to deserve it but that God in His immense love for each and every one of us would sacrifice everything in His Son Jesus for us. And even more than that, we are able to know that we are now children of God brought into a place of intimacy where we can call our God ‘Abba’ (Daddy).
This is the hope of Easter! That all can receive the wonderful knowledge that nothing can separate them from the love of God, that nothing need act as barrier to a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. This is a message worth shouting about. This is a message worth sharing. My hope this Easter is that this good news would spread wide and far and bring a difference to many.
I pray that you are blessed mightily this Easter season with the presence and love of God.
Every blessing in Christ,
Daniel Currie (vicar)