The Swaffham Crier Online

Pastoral Letter

Dear Friends,

Twas Easter Sunday. The full-blossomed trees Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

April is one of my most favourite months, a month full of new life and new hope, with buds on the trees, spring flowers, and the sights sounds and smells of spring. Our faith is a faith of hope, a hope that is summed up in the glory of the resurrection.

In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which were placed huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words: "This burial place must never be opened." In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them. As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones.

The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God's creative word that someday will call to life the bodies of all who are in their graves. He will also bring back every person drowned at sea, cremated, or destroyed in some other way. This is no problem to the One who made something out of nothing when He spoke the universe into existence. Unbelief cannot deter the resurrection. But faith in the risen Christ opens the door to blessings that His resurrection guarantees -- a glorious new spiritual body and a home in heaven. In new bodies we will be reunited with saved loved ones to live with Jesus throughout all eternity. That is the hope that all Christians share. So, as we greet the Easter dawn once again, let us fill our hearts with joy and thanksgiving at the wonderful truth of the resurrection and what it means for us. Let us rejoice in faith and hope, full of the knowledge that, as the ancient Easter greeting proclaims: "CHRIST IS RISEN!" HE IS RISEN INDEED!"

I wish you all a very happy Easter.

May God bless you all