Messages from around the Benefice

Dear All,

Just a brief message to wish you God’s blessing this Eastertide. With our love,

Glyndwr and Jean

Easter Sunday. Message from Lyndon

As I look at my computer screen my mind floats back to the not too distant past.

I have just arrived at Portskewett Church before sunrise on Easter Sunday morning. The darkness of the night still surrounds the church, though slowly the darkness is beginning to be defeated by the approach of day. A cold wind is blowing from the estuary. I follow the congregation, heading towards the church door. Some people have torches and I catch in their beams, an already robed Fr. Den, even at this time of the morning Den is his usual chirpy self. It’s Den’s turn to officiate. I stand with the congregation, we pray, the Easter bonfire is now burning, from there the Easter candle is lit and as we enter the dark building, I hear the proclamation “the Light of Christ”. We follow with lighted candles in our hands. The service leads us on a journey far back in time. As the service proceeds there is the first sign of light outside the windows. At last the dawn begins to break.

At last the dawn begins to break in Jerusalem, women are about to go on a journey, they are going to the tomb of their leader, who was recently crucified. The women, carry spices, they are going to tend to His body. They are afraid, and they have reason to have this fear. The tomb that they seek has an armed, guard outside it. They arrive at the tomb, the guards are gone, the stone is rolled away, they enter the tomb. However, the body is not there, instead they see two angles, the women are terrified, They are told “Why do you look for the living amongst the dead?” Luke 24:5. Jesus died with two thieves, He is raised in the company of two angels. One of the women, Mary Magdalene, runs to find Peter and John, she tells them of her experience. Peter and John race to the tomb, Peter goes inside, he see the burial cloth of the body on the floor and the cloth for the head rolled up on its own. Now they understand, the teachings of scripture, have come true.

Mary Magdalene, returns to the tomb, she is alone. She goes into the tomb, she is scared, she sees the angels who ask her “Woman, why are you weeping?” John 20:13. She tells them, that someone has taken her Lord away, and she has no idea where his body could be.
Mary is upset, tearful, frightened, she sees a man in the garden, he speaks to her, and asks her the reason for her tears. Believing it to be the gardener, she asks if he knows where the body might be. The man calls her name “Mary”. Mary recognises Jesus. The resurrection is a reality; death has been conquered. Christ has risen from the dead.

I am in St. Mary’s Church Caldicot, my second service of the day is now over. It’s about 9am, I have finished giving Easter greetings to my friends who are heading home after receiving the sacrament. I’m alone in the church, I am preparing for my third service of the day. The church is stunningly beautiful. Gone is the sombre purple of Lent, the altar is joyous white, there is an abundance of flowers. I must remember to thank everyone, the sacristans, the cleaners, those who have polished the brasses, the flower arranger, and indeed everyone who has made the church look so stunning. I try to make a check list in my mind of things I must do, “Lyndon, don’t forget the banns of marriage, and remember to distribute the Easter eggs to the children”

Later on that day, two men are taking the seven mile walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are deep in solemn discussion. A stranger joins them, they tell the stranger the news they have heard in Jerusalem regarding Jesus. Upon arrival, they have a meal together, the stranger breaks bread, then they realise the stranger is Jesus. The news is true. He has indeed risen from the grave.

My third service is almost over. The banns were read, my thanks were given, a sermon was preached, communion received and excited and some of the children were already munching their eggs. I give the blessing, we begin our final hymn, I follow the choir as they process out. I look at the joyful faces of the congregation and the smiles on the chocolate coated mouths of the children, and though I sing like a donkey, I too join in the hymn “Thine be the Glory, risen conquering Son”. I thank God for making me a priest.

Jesus said “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”. Matthew 28:20.

Thank you for supporting me through Holy Week, I am taking a couple of days off, to eat my egg. If you have any prayer request please let me know and Cynth and I will pray for you. I spoke to Den and he sends his love to you all. If anyone is not sure on how to pray, this is a prayer I wrote some time ago, please feel free to use it:
“Please Lord Jesus, be with me today, be my friend and companion. Help me to love you, help me to trust you. Please guide me through this day and through all my life. Be with those I love and pray for. Amen”
Keep safe, keep praying and keep the faith. God Bless. Happy Easter. Will write to you soon.