I recently climbed into the clocktower of Church. We had discovered a leak and I went up with John Williams to have look. Thankfully, the leak has now been sorted out, but more about that some other time! Whilst I was snooping around, I made a great find. Underneath piles of dust, mortar, old tins, and detritus I unearthed a third section of the original clockface that had been destroyed by German bombing on Christmas Eve 1944. I felt thrilled. It still retains the Latin numerals VIII, IX and X and the gold paint is still evident on its ironwork. Of its metal, it is worthless, of its provenance it is invaluable. So, I brushed it off and took it to across to my Vicarage where it now resides, awaiting encasing in the parish hall. It will undergo a transformation and its story will be told. I mentioned this to Bill Walsh the other day and he was equally thrilled.
The Easter message causes us to reflect upon the wonderful experience of transformation, of darkness to light, of death to life, of despair to hope, of sadness to irrepressible joy, of courage from fear, of bravery from betrayal and cowardice. The last year or so, (is it truly that long?) has seen many people having to reimagine how to “make things work.” Necessity truly is the mother of invention and over the last year a band of wholly committed people have ensured that the Church has remained opened and accessible to all. They have dedicated hours and hours interpreting advice, guidance, and rules. For me though, the important and significant aspect to this “making things work” is not so much how, as why. The “why” is intimately connected with Easter Day – it really is that important.
The last twelve months give witness to transformations across the entire spectrum of personal and business life. I wonder though, what we have learned about ourselves and maybe others around us through this time and what stories will we tell as life moves on? How have we reconsidered time perhaps, working out what really matters and what does not? Have we used this Kairos as an opportune time to revisit and reconsider our priorities? St Teresa of Ávila reminds us that “All things are passing” and T S Eliot encourages us to “Redeem the time while we may.” Of all the seasons in the calendar, Easter Day provides us with the prism through which we see the pearl of great price of which Jesus spoke.
I wonder though, do we allow its transformative wonder to determine our daily lives or is it the case that rather like time, we simply allow it to slip through our fingers and beyond our gaze? In order to obviate this we must be attentive to prayer and the spiritual life. Ausonius once wrote, “Let us know the happiness that time brings.” To do that requires the transformative power of an Easter response, to turn around the telescopes with which we metaphorically view life, and put our trust in God, whatever the vagaries, passing seasons and events of life may throw at us.
A holy and blessed Easter.