Dear FrienKarends and Neighbours,

As I write this I am hearing that more snow is forecast for this coming weekend.  MORE SNOW!!  Will this long grey season never come to an end?  And yet there are days of light blue skies and gradually warmer sunshine which encourage us to believe that spring will eventually arrive.  Last week I had a glorious day on the East Coast, the wind was a little brisk but the sun was gorgeous, the sky was blue and I enjoyed a picnic by the water.  Small signs that promise better weather ahead, just not yet!!


Lent is now more than half way through and this weekend we enter the time called Passiontide.  During this time we will veil the statues at St Giles, a tradition that began when statues were richly ornamented with jewels and gold leaf and it was thought to be so out of tune with the suffering of Christ that the richness was hidden.  Our statues are no longer full of rich rubies and glittering emeralds but it is a tradition that is continued to remind us of the desolation of Jesus as gradually all His followers fall away from His side and He stands alone before the judges; despised, tormented and physically beaten.  Anyone who watched the film, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ must surely have been revolted by the brutality of the soldiers as Jesus was whipped and led to His death.  Not only was there physical brutality but the hatred in the eyes of those administering that cruelty made me shudder with fear.


There are times in all our lives when the going is tough, the road seems very hard to travel and there appears to be little help on any side.  At times like these it really is a question of putting one foot in front of the other, day by day.  Knowing that whatever we are struggling with during these times, we have a God who understands the depth of physical pain, Jesus understands what it is like to be ridiculed and deserted by friends, he has compassion because he has been in those situations before us and will walk with us as we carry our burdens.  We are not alone, however isolated we may feel.


When Easter Day arrives we celebrate the risen Christ, the one who can transform our lives, not just here on earth but for eternity.  We celebrate that our human weaknesses are known to Him and yet despite them we are loved by Him.


May we all have a blessed and joyous Easter season – and a little better weather to come?


May God Bless us all,