Our latest parish walk on a lovely sunny day led us to Crummock Farm for morning coffee – many thanks to Peter and Gill.
The Vicar writes: God still calls us to follow. Nothing strips us to the bare essentials as quickly as tragedy and great sorrow. The superficial pleasures of life lose their meaning and, in our desolation, only the most indestructible factors remain; the love of those close to use; the foundations of faith. Holy week invites us to leave all else behind and enter the tragedy of Christ’s passion and death – do make the effort to attend some of the Church’s liturgy this week. Only here will we see true freedom: freedom from rancour; freedom for sacrifice. Only here will we see tragedy transformed, death overthrown and evil overcome by pure unflinching love. Here is the source of holiness, Jesus will pour into our hearts all we need to make our homes holy places. St Luke’s account of the passion of our Lord makes space for many strangers outside the circle of the disciples. Jesus is helped to carry his cross by Simon of Cyrene. He comforts the women of Jerusalem, forgives the soldiers crucifying him, and holds out the hope of paradise to the thief alongside him. The Lord was always thinking and praying for others. He wanted what was best and holy for them. Even in the midst of terrible anguish his focus is on others, not Himself. Jesus died on the cross so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died. This means that, like the Lord, our focus is on others because it is in loving and serving that we imitate the Risen Christ. May we all grow closer to him this Easter. Blessings to you all, Ian (Rev Canon Ian Greenhalgh)