Rectory notes April 2021 – Does life win?
It’s Saturday of Easter weekend last year, on the hill above Feniton. It’s dawn. We can’t hold our usual Sunrise Service there the following day due to this new national ‘lockdown’. I am making a fumbling attempt at filming an introduction for an Easter video service. And the sunrise is perfect. The huge orange ball emerges inch-by-inch above the hills over Honiton. At the end of the year I will compile an album of 2020 lockdown photos – that sunrise is now its front cover.
Resurrection comes. Often slowly, but it comes. Those compact three days from the first Good Friday to Easter Day give us a pocket-sized picture of life. There’s been a lot of Good Fridays this past year: so much pain and struggle and tragically death. Covid-19 has joined the ranks of the destroyers of life, gleefully hammering another nail into the cross. Mercifully we are now armed with vaccines to mount a defence.
There’s been a lot of Easter Saturdays: that difficult point after the worst has happened – at least we hope it has – but we don’t yet see a future. A time when we fear that evil does in fact have the last word, that life will be squeezed out. A time of deep doubt. Yet a time when doubt is OK – for where can new life come from?
And then there it is – new life! Our resurrection from national pandemic restrictions is slow – Step-by-Step, week-by-week. But emerging we are. We can feel the warming rays of freedom begin to touch our bodies again. Our muscles can start to stretch once more. Life is edging back.
Where was God in those ‘three days’? Was he just in the resurrection? No, Christ travelled the whole journey, present in the death and darkness as much as in the life, with us every inch of the way. Indeed he led the way. He showed there is a way through.
Last autumn I planted Spring bulbs in our garden. I have little natural faith that what I plant will grow. Yet they have done so! Each one is a tiny miracle of life and colour. Resurrection comes slowly. But it comes. Whatever is thrown at life, life still wins.
Rev David Carrington
Team Vicar of Escot, Feniton and Payhembury