Lent and Easter Season
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:3:
We invite you to explore some of the resources that we have reflected on
during the seasons of Lent and Easter.
Good Friday Devotions
By Rev Janet Bayly
This year’s Good Friday Devotions are inspired by the Passion Play in Oberammergau.
Jesus dies on the cross
By Malcolm Guite
The dark nails pierce him and the sky turns black
We watch him as he labours to draw breath
He takes our breath away to give it back,
Return it to it’s birth through his slow death.
We hear him struggle breathing through the pain
Who once breathed out his spirit on the deep,
Who formed us when he mixed the dust with rain
And drew us into consciousness from sleep.
His spirit and his life he breathes in all
Mantles his world in his one atmosphere
And now he comes to breathe beneath the pall
Of our pollutions, draw our injured air
To cleanse it and renew. His final breath
Breathes us, and bears us through the gates of death.
Maundy Thursday Reflection
By Rev Petra Elsmore
Christ On the Mount of Olives
by Paul Gauguin
By Mary Oliver
The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.
Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.
The cricket has such splendid fringge on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows it never sleeps.
Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did, maybe
the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn't move,
the lake far away, where once he walked as on a
lay still and waited, wild awake.
Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be a part of the story.
Christ in Gethsemane
by Michael D Obrien
By Malcom Guite
Jesus comes near and he beholds the city
And looks on us with tears in his eyes,
And wells of mercy, streams of love and pity
Flow from the fountain whence all things arise.
He loved us into life and longs to gather
And meet with his beloved face to face
How often has he called, a careful mother,
And wept for our refusals of his grace,
Wept for a world that, weary with its weeping,
Benumbed and stumbling, turns the other way,
Fatigued compassion is already sleeping
Whilst her worst nightmares stalk the light of day.
But we might waken yet, and face those fears,
If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ tears.
A Share in the Load
By David Heffer
Simon was pleased with his journey, he had made better time than he thought. He breathed in deeply of the morning air and stepped on to the path he sought that led to the city and the business that had called him there that day, Jerusalem; the Holy walls reared up to the sky, in the morning light still grey. It reminded him of his own fair place, Cyrene, set high above the sea and as he pondered on the distance, he reverently bowed the knee commended home and family to God, then continued on the road.
The city gates were open wide, the Roman guard there strode tense, anxious, it seemed to Simon, for so early in the emerging dawn, which puzzled him for very few were in the street on that passover morn. He pressed along the narrow street, with a feeling of oppression which was magnified for the Cyrenian, by the sight of a small procession. Simon had seen the site before, his own country under Roman sway between the guard of soldiers, three wretches heavy timbers convey each the upright of a cross, rough wood hewn chafs the bleeding backs. He squeezed against a fast shut door as one stumbled in his tracks and nearly fell, the impatient soldier judged him unequal to the load then cast around for assistance, it was no use using the goad. Simon, in trying to miss the look, was caught by the Roman's eye and a spear pinned his cloak to the door behind, he felt his throat go dry. He knew what was required of him, to protest was quite in vain and on the face of the one who fell, he read some mystery through the pain. So he picked up the wood and marvelled, that the beaten man at his side had managed to carry it this far. Simon had to drag the shame, all undignified. The journey was slow and painful, without breath they reached the hilltop. Simon was ordered to release his load, close to a hole in the rock. He staggered away glad to be gone, blood and sweat fresh on his clothes away back to the city to forget the thieves, the execution and the oaths. But a maid in the inn, where he tried to repair his robe and his damaged pride told him the truth of the man who fell and something of his life beside.
Simon returned to Cyrene, his thoughts in a maze to explain and always reminded of the cruelty, every time he looked at the stain
When life pins our cloak to the nearest wood, and demands that burdens be borne, help us Lord to rejoice in the weight
that makes us joint heirs with your son.