Posted by: dowsmallgroups | 03/11/2010

A simple matter of life and death

This time of year is truly a time of contrasts. As a nation, as a Church we are called to remember those who died in the service of the country and those who’ve gone before us marked with the sign of faith. While our churches are adorned with dark, sombre colours of black or purple for the Feast of All Souls, the trees surrounding our churches are emblazoned with a veritable riot of colour. While the tone and talk is of loss, the harvest is in full swing and, this year in particular, crops and fruit are in abundance. It is with a crisp clarity that we see the joy of life alongside the pain of death.

The seasons mirror not too distantly the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord. Where in autumn we see the clouds gather as the summer fades and we store up what is needed for the oncoming dark, cold months – so we remember that Christ moved from the joy and triumph of his entry into Jerusalem to the ignominy of his trial and denial.

Once the snows come shrouding the fields, burying the rich soil and the trees stand barren, we recall the shroud wrapping our dear Lord in his tomb, buried in stone, the tree of death standing empty.

Then gloriously, as if from desolation, the first buds, shoots, new life sprout forth. Here it is easy to see the natural cycle and to see the Lord arisen. Such joy as we feel at Easter is all too easily forgotten as we encounter pain and the death of loved ones. Yet ours is a faith in which we are invited to always remember (in the Eucharist especially) the hope that we have in Jesus. Each Eucharist demonstrates to us the triumph of Christ over death, a death and resurrection we have shared in already in our baptism. Our hope ‘is not deceptive,’ says the apostle in his letter to the Romans, ‘because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.’

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