May Pastoral Letter 2016

May Pastoral Letter 2016
Dear Friends
The Easter celebrations are now behind us and how beautiful the churches all looked, a wonderful backdrop for our Easter services. Many of the Easter Lilies at St. Werburgh’s were given in memory of loved ones who are no longer with us.
Flowers, so full of life and promise, reminding us of lost love on the very day when we celebrated new life. A reminder, if reminders are ever needed, of the grief and anguish which so many people carry in their hearts.
The disciples were stricken with grief too, they had lost their friend Jesus and even the knowledge of the stone having been rolled away and the tomb having been left empty, appears to have brought the disciples little consolation.
The disciples locked the doors, huddled together, wanting to shut themselves away through fear, when Jesus suddenly appeared in the midst of them offering his peace and his risen presence. An appearance which made all the difference to the disciples, who we are told were overjoyed, ‘when they saw the Lord’.
We have time now before the Ascension to reflect on all the Easter Stories of Jesus and to allow the words to reach deep into our hearts.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber in his Pastoral letter suggests that the Church and practising Christians have long been criticised for not behaving or looking as though Resurrection has happened.
Surely we couldn’t count ourselves as deserving such criticism, or could we?
We seem, Adrian Dorber states, to be rather anxious creatures; worried about survival; the impact we make upon the world and preoccupied with money,(or lack of it). Anxiety he goes on to say distorts what we are about and diverts us from our purpose.
Perhaps we need to remember those words of the Angel when the women first visited the empty tomb, ‘Do not be afraid’.
The stone had been rolled away; the stone that separated life from death.
That barrier which so often separates us from God’s love has gone, along with our past griefs, our regrets, our faults and failings, all rolled away so that our future may be different.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia!!
With My Love
Sometimes the landscape of my soul
Seems like this burnt hillside,
The wind rattling orange leaves on black twigs,
The soil full of ash between the stones.
Sometimes the landscape of my soul
Seems like this terrible waste of dead trees.
Walking this afternoon among the charred remains
I found a black stump sprouting leaves
And new grass thinly veiling
A delicate oak sapling
In this the ravaged landscape of my soul. Susan Fisher