Pictures of the wonderful Easter gardens some of our parishioners have made.
The last photo has been kindly sent in from Lesley Overton -an Easter Garden for St John the Baptist Parish Church, Letton.
Lesley’s caption for her pic – “Happy Easter – my Easter garden with all flood-resurrected flowers.”
We would like to share with you all this message sent to us from Rev Peter Houghton who was due to conduct our Easter Service in the church of St Peter and St Paul, Weobley. Happy Easter to you all wherever you may be.
We were due to be with you to lead worship this Easter Day but we all know what has happened in the last few weeks. It has been strange, upsetting, disappointing, unsettling not to have been able to meet with fellow-Christians and, listening once again to the reading from John 20 on Radio 4 this morning it struck me that everyone early on that first Easter day had the same or similar negative emotions. But meeting the risen Jesus changed that, although for some it wasn’t an immediate flood of joy and realisation, so we should not worry if, in spite of the glorious fact that we celebrate today, some of us are sometimes still fearful, doubtful and looking backwards at pleasant memories rather than forwards in hope.
However the fact remains that Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!
We are both well, although self-isolating but walking the dog and gardening mean that we don’t feel too cooped up. I hope that you, like us, have discovered the amazing amount of material online to help us in personal meditation and to join in with services. If anyone would like some ideas, please contact me but there is good stuff on the Diocese of Hereford website and Facebook page Let me leave you with the Collect for Easter Sunday and a poem that someone drew to our attention this last week. I think it is very relevant to our present situation.
Collect for Easter Sunday
Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.
With our love in our Lord Jesus and continual prayers for all of you#
Peter & Joan Houghton
How the Virus Stole Easter
By Kristi Bothur (With a nod to Dr. Seuss)
Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began
Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.
People were sick, hospitals full,
Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.
As winter gave way to the promise of spring,
The virus raged on, touching peasant and king.
People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen.
They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned.
April approached and churches were closed.
“There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed.
“There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out.
No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.”
Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest.
The world was focused on masks and on tests.
“Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed.
“Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.”
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.
The virus pressed on; it just would not relent.
The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed.
The virus still menaced, the people, estranged.
“Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling.
“They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming.
“They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo.
“That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.”
So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear.
And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies.
It started down low, then it started to rise.
But the sound wasn’t depressed.
Why, this sound was triumphant!
It couldn’t be so!
But it grew with abundance!
The world stared around, popping its eyes.
Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise!
Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small,
Was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all!
It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine
Stood puzzling and puzzling.
“Just how can it be?”
“It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies,
It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.”
Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before.
“Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
And what happened then?
Well….the story’s not done.
What will YOU do?
Will you share with that one
Or two or more people needing hope in this night?
Will you share the source of your life in this fight?
The churches are empty – but so is the tomb,
And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom.
So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,
As the virus still rages all around, everywhere.
May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people.
May the world see the church is not a building or steeple.
May the world find Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection,
May the world find Joy in a time of dejection.
May 2020 be known as the year of survival,
But not only that –
Let it start a revival.