Spring has arrived, there is more daylight, bird song and new life everywhere. On the farm several of the cows have had their beautiful calves; the grass, wheat, barley, beans and oil-seed rape are growing, after had some much-needed rain.
As all gardeners and farmers know, good preparation and care are very important for all of this to happen. Constant observation and attention are needed to ensure healthy livestock and productive crops.
New life is all around us — buds on the trees, wild flowers, little chicks, calves and lambs. It is fascinating to watch the tiny ducklings follow mother duck from their nest by the pond and waddle their way down to the marshes. There is also much more that we don’t see … in hidden bird nests, in the undergrowth, in tunnels under ground and in the streams and rivers. God’s creation is wonderful.
Forty Days and Forty Nights
We are now in the season of Lent in the church calendar: a time to remember the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before he began his ministry of teaching and healing; a time to reflect on our regard for other people and the environment and to ask forgiveness for our mistakes. Many give up certain luxuries; some decide to give more, by doing things which make a difference to other peoples’ lives.
On Maundy Thursday we meet to commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; then on Good Friday we remember that Jesus died for everyone. He was crucified and died on the cross outside Jerusalem, even though he had done nothing wrong. After three days Jesus was raised to life again.
On the Sunday evening he stood among his disciples, showed them the wounds of his crucifixion, and said: “Peace be with you”. He asked for something to eat. They gave him a piece of cooked fish. “You are witnesses of these things”, Jesus said. “I will send upon you what my Father has promised”.
As we celebrate Easter once again, after reflection and preparation, this is when we can realise the meaning of new life for us. There is a fresh way of living now: because of Jesus’ resurrection we have new hope of everlasting life after death.
May the risen Lord bless us, watch over us and renew us, as he renews the whole of creation. May our hearts and lives echo his love.
Revd Jill Haylock