Lord, we rise only by the strength of your forgiving hand.
Your Grace lifts us back to life, and
We can live more honestly,
Knowing that you love us always.
Take our lives, and lead us into a better day.
Taken from “We’re fooling no-one” by Ann Honey, Prayer Handbook 2021.
As Easter approaches I find a multitude of childhood memories come flooding back. The many Sunday school activities that we did, particularly creating Easter gardens, painting and rolling hard boiled eggs, and decorating bonnets to wear on Easter Sunday.
I continue to do these activities with the children I work with and my own grandchildren, although the favoured hat decorations these days tend to be Disney stickers rather than spring flowers. Some years ago I had a neighbour whose particular family tradition at Easter was to make a batch of bread dough which she formed into little figures and baked with an egg in the centre of each one. As she was the mother of eleven children, this was no mean feat. I prefer to stick to decorating eggs!
These special memories and practices are particularly important and sustain us through difficult times, particularly during the seemingly endless months of Lockdown. A year ago we were just adjusting to what we thought would be a few inconvenient months caused by the encroaching presence of Covid-19, preparing to celebrate Holy Week alone but together through our newly discovered ability with Zoom. This year we can look forward with more optimism as case numbers are falling and the vaccine rollout is carrying on apace. Our children have returned to school and we are starting to see a gradual return to the social interactions that we have long been denied – barring setbacks of course.
However we are mindful of the dreadful death toll, the bereaved families who have been denied last final moments together, and of those who have come through the illness and survived, but are facing a lengthy and debilitating struggle with the aptly named Long Covid.
Easter brings the promise of lighter days conquering the darkness, new life and Christ’s victory over death. This year the message is particularly powerful. May everyone have a safe and truly blessed time.
Happy Easter to you all.