Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013: the Dean's Sermon: Fr Simon Aiken 31 March 2013

This is the day which the Lord has made.

We will rejoice and be glad in it.  Alleluia.

From the Dean

Dear Easter people,

As in dark drops the pitting rain
Falls on a dusty street,
So tears shall fall and fall again
To wash thy wounded feet.

Well, we had a rainy Holy Week this year with unexpected, but nonetheless welcome, late Summer rains. The gloomy weather matched the sombre and thoughtful mood of our services as we followed Jesus on his journey from the hysteria of the Palm Sunday hosanna-crowd, to the sleepy disciples in the garden, to the violence of the crucify-him-mob, through the silence of the tomb, to the joy of Easter Day and our reassurance that it was done, all accomplished on the cross for our life and healing.

We will face pain again, we will see the woundedness of others again, but the more Holy Weeks we travel the more we have the confidence that 

Thy quick hands to heal are strong,
O love, thy patients we,
Who sing with joy the pilgrims' song
And walk, dear Lord, with thee. *

Surely I was not the only one these last days in St Cyprian's to find it hard to finish the sentences of our prayers and hymns as their spiritual truth, and the reality of Jesus' suffering engaged in my mind and heart with the brokenness of our world, the Church and the inhumanity of our race. Indeed we travelled a long - and deep - way this past week.

My thanks are extended, on your behalf, to everyone who contributed to this year's Holy Week observance: our cleaning and office staff, sacristans, servers, singers and sidesmen, confirmation candidates, readers, Lay Ministers and florists. And many more. Truly a team effort that lifted up Jesus in our midst, allowed us to worship, reflect and celebrate. Thank you.

Easter is just the start! We look forward now to Ordinations tomorrow, Confirmations later in April and Corpus Christi and a Diocesan weekend in June… 'Tis good, Lord, to be here!

Fr Simon

* These words, sung on Good Friday, are part of a hymn written by Geoffrey Dearmer, son of the more famous Percy Dearmer whose practical working out of the principles of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England encouraged many priests to engage in missionary work in Southern Africa in the nineteenth century.

                             Le ke letsatsi le Morena o le dirileng.
                             Re tla ipela re itumela ka lone. Aleluya.

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