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moon phases
Because I live, you too will live

Not seasonal flowers, maybe, but a dash of colour to cheer the cold Spring!

Easter eggs are on sale in the stores and we are being wished a happy easter. So that is good! Although as I write this letter Mothering Sunday has just passed with a great flourish from those same stores selling beautiful bunches of flowers. So it is glory all the way, and every week, in what has been called, perhaps a little unfairly, the consumer culture of today.

To enliven this penchant for festivals I have put the moon's phases graphic on this web page which will show the moon in real time every time you access the page. Linked historically with the Jewish Passover, Easter is, of course, the first Sunday after the full moon after the spring Equinox.

But, hold on!

There is a serious point that is being missed, not by the supermarkets, but by ourselves, the Christians. Easter was the moment when the future of the world was changed. Humankind, the prodigal, was embraced by God and offered the newest shares on the cosmic market for nothing. Nothing short of new life in the discipleship of the newly risen Lord. So what are we doing about it? Is it about marvellous celebrations, vigils and lilies in the sanctuary? Yes, perhaps.

But we are all still perhaps missing the point. We have each been entrusted with the gospel in Jesus to be as salt in the world now; not to wait until the ecclesiastical celebration of the risen Lord, important as that is. Christians have been celebrating Easter since perhaps the time of Paul. But Paul's gospel was not about the niceties of liturgical celebration but about the truth of, and freedom in, God's love for us. In Jesus' life, death and vindication, humanity has been remade. From now on, Paul says,

'When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world;
the old order has gone, and a new order has already begun.'

That is no biblicist pietism nor a whistling in the dark as he faced intractable problems, but an extraordinary realism matching that of the Lord he served who said that wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, there he would be among them. For Paul the reality of the new life in Christ had become a rational acceptance entering his mind and will.

In the midst of the global problems of humankind today Christ the Lord is present. He has stretched out his hand to draw us into the search for meaning and truth here and now.


© Aelred Arnesen

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