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Spotlight Introduction March 2011

April - A month of pain and parties

This April is a month in which we are still reeling from all we
heard in the news from across the world of lives devastated
by earthquakes, Tsunamis and nuclear melt down. We’ve
heard of the lives torn apart by the conflict in the Middle
East. I wonder how the memories of this will form us and
the world in which we live?

So how can we make sense of it all?

In April, with others in the Christian community I will retrace the long and painful
journey Jesus made through his suffering, terror and death on the cross. A time
of devastation and betrayal. A time when all the hopes and dreams of his family
and followers were destroyed.

Sometimes in my job all I can do is listen and sit with people as we wrestle with
the problem of suffering. And more often than not it is suffering closer to home
that really challenges us. The news of cancer, the death of a loved one, mental
health problems, financial difficulties or addictions. Sometimes all I can do is give
people permission to cry out to the God who seems to have disappeared. There
is a space for this in the Christian story.

But one thing I have learned through my own times of suffering, is that Jesus
identifies with our brokenness, pain, grief and loss. For God allowed himself to be
stripped of everything, including his life.

In April we start to see the signs of new growth and new hope as God’s creation
bursts back into life after a long hard winter. My garden has seemed so bare and
dull for so long, but as I write the daffodils offer a burst of colour and the promise
of new life.

On April 24th I will celebrate the miracle of the Christian faith as Jesus bursts
back into life bringing hope and a new beginning. I will get up at dawn to
celebrate. To begin the party I will hide Easter eggs for the children to find – each
one a symbol of new life and hope. A group from our village will transform the
church with flowers. On Easter morning I will be joined by many others across the
world and we will sing this story. We will urge each other to get caught up in the
mission of Jesus to bring love and justice back into the places of pain and
suffering.

So this April you are warmly invited to explore the Easter story through the many
different services and activities planned by the Christian community here in
Uffculme. To both share the pain, and to enjoy the party.

Rev Selina