Messages for Easter.....

Introduction: ...from Guernsey.

Messages for Easter

The Deans of Guernsey Anglican and Catholic churches gave us their thoughts and spiritual messages for this special time in the Christian calender.

The Dean of Guernsey, Cannon Paul Mellor

Cannon Paul Mellor

Anglican Dean of Guernsey, the Very Reverend Canon Paul Mellor

"Today is one of the most solemn days of the Christian year, it's Good Friday. It is the day Christians the world over remember the crucifixion of Jesus.

"You would have thought this grim and obscenely violent event would have been commemorated on a day called Bad Friday. It was certainly that for the first disciples, who unlike us had not lived through the Easter experience.

"They didn't know on the first Good Friday that Jesus would travel through this grisly, awful and violent death to the glory of new life in the Easter garden. For them it was indeed Bad Friday - dark, disappointing and disheartening.

"With Jesus they had to live through the blood, sweat and bitter tears of the passion at the foot of the cross to come, after three days, to the sunlight of new and eternal life.

"They came to the place where we are and saw in the light of Easter that Bad Friday was, in fact, Good Friday. Because, in these events in the life of Jesus, God was showing us both the depths of his love for us all and also the constant, unchangeable power and passion of that love.

"We live today in a world where many foundations are moving and shaking. What we saw as solid and unshakeable has proven to be unreliable, unsubstantial and in many cases downright dangerous.

"The financial institutions are in meltdown, we have managed to build our lives on the false premise that we can just keep on exploiting our planet with a greed and stupidity which is breathtaking.

"We have disregarded God's call to act justly by the poorest and most vulnerable and the consequences are coming home to roost.

"The credit crunch bites, climate change threatens and the downtrodden rise up into the midst of all the changes that beset us with enormous uncertainty. The message of Easter, the message of God's constant, deep and unchanging love, breathes hope and vision.

"Bad Fridays and black Mondays in God's plan and with God's help become Good Fridays and Good Easters. From the worst we can imagine by walking God's way God can and will lead us through death to life.

"As one of the ancient Good Friday hymns puts it: 'The royal banners forward go, The cross shines forth in mystic glow', The message of Good Friday is that this isn't a day to remember only a good man dying unjustly, but a day to celebrate that in this sign God is active as he is in our world today.

"Active to show his constant, unchanging love for each and every one of us and, through our crosses, whatever they may be, he will achieve his purpose of new life which does not end and this isn't theory. It is done in the life and death and resurrection of a real man, Jesus of Nazareth - who is the way, the truth and the life. Life which knows no end no matter what happens to banks and jobs and ice caps or unjust wars caused by unjust dealings.

"Christ who died lives forever - Hallelujah!

"Come and be part of that message at a church near you this  Easter."

 

Catholic Dean of Guernsey, Father Michael Hore

Father Michael Hore

Catholic Dean of Guernsey, Father Michael Hore

"These three days, yesterday (Holy Thursday), today (Good Friday), tomorrow (the Easter vigil to Easter Sunday) are three very, very powerful days put together.

"The first one was Holy Thursday - a celebration of the supper Jesus had with his disciples. At that supper was the meal in which Jesus, we believe, instituted the Eucharist.

"He took bread, gave it to his disciples, and said, 'Take this and eat it, it is my body', he passed around the wine and he said, 'Take this and drink it, it is my blood', and then he said to them, 'Do this in memory of me'.

"Why did Jesus ask to be remembered in this way?

"Then we look at the day, Good Friday. A day when many people of the Christian world will come to church to live out that final journey, those final few hours of Jesus Christ before his death - to accompany him to Calvary, to that place where he was going to die.

"There on a cross Jesus hung, crucified, humiliated, spat upon, rejected. He had to walk through the streets and had to accept a death that was only reserved for slaves and non Jews, and a most humiliating kind of death - he had to die.

"The body was taken from the cross, placed in a tomb and he was left for dead. Those closest to him came on Easter Sunday morning simply because they couldn't do what they wanted to do on the Sabbath, so they came on Sunday morning to anoint the body, which was a custom at the time.

"He wasn't there - the stone had been rolled away, the body of Jesus wasn't there - what had happened?

"Well it seems by all accounts what happened was that he had risen from the dead. He had appeared to his friends, he appeared to some of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and he began to make many appearances.

"So what we have is a man, Jesus, who moved from death to life.

"This is a huge step for us to understand, in fact it's something that we cannot reason too easily with - unless you have faith that Jesus did die and did rise from the dead.

"That's the journey you and I have to take. Jesus said: 'Whoever lives and believes in me will never die'.

"So this Easter I hope that you are a close follower of Jesus. I hope he becomes a model and his teaching will make a great impression on us and we can live in today's world in peace and harmony and I also hope you're blessed with the gift of faith where the grave does not become an end, but only a means to that end - an opening to new life.

"If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies it remains only a single grain, if it dies it yields a rich harvest.

"Happy Easter and may God bless you."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guernsey/content/articles/2009/04/09/easter_messages_2009_feature.shtml

Office posted the article on Saturday, 11th April 2009 at 1:45pm


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