A View From The Vicarage, April 2018

Dear Friends

“Spring Means Easter, Means Eggs”

Sitting on the bookshelves in the study here is a book called “The Magic Apple Tree” by Susan Hill.   It’s the account of the writer’s life in a large country cottage complete with, as you can imagine an old and rather gnarled apple tree in the garden.

A tree which I like to imagine resembles the magnificent copper beech which so dominates the front lawn here.  Among the treasures which the book contains is my favourite recipe for red cabbage.

However, there is a chapter in the book, the opening paragraphs of which I knew as an exam passage long before I found the book from which they came!

The opening line has remained in my head ever since:  “Spring means Easter, means eggs.”.  The chapter described the author’s endeavours at hen keeping.

That statement: “Spring means Easter, means eggs.”  it seems to me encapsulates what our national psych believes is true, namely that Easter is about nothing more than springtime and Easter eggs!

Indeed when I asked a group of children why I’d taken an egg with me the other day;  that’s precisely the response I received!  We did, however, proceed to explain why an egg has become such a symbol of Easter;  the shell looks entirely dead and lifeless, yet given the right conditions, it has the potentiality of new life within it.

Some years ago now during a school assembly two young children said to me that the shape of the egg was perhaps like the stone which covered Christ’s tomb or that it was similar to the thorns which were pressed into his skull on the first Good Friday.  I don’t need to tell you who left that encounter feeling the more inadequate.

One of our vital tasks as Christians in 21st Century Britain is to re-acquaint our society not with the story of Christ’s death and resurrection but with the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection – we need to educate helpfully and gently the generations for whom this is simply not part of their reality about why Easter is so important and why it should be taken seriously.

If the best way to do that is via an Easter Egg Hunt then I’m all for it.  If you see children and adults around Titley and Kington churchyards hunting Easter Eggs on Good Friday or Easter Eve – please be glad that they’ve come to hear again the Easter message of good news for all and please pray that many do.

With that I’d like to wish you a happy and blessed Easter and God’s most abundant blessings as always.

Ben

Ben Griffith Comment