Hello everyone

I hope that you had an Easter to remember, an Easter that helped your faith to develop in some way. I am writing this after being reminded strongly of what standing around a fire in the early morning may have been like in the time and country of Jesus and his followers, two days after the crucifixion. Huddling together for warmth, struggling together to find the hope to carry on as Jesus had requested.....not yet heard that the tomb was open and empty and what that mystery might mean.

Yet now we do know the meaning....we have the stories of hindsight, we know that Christ is alive today but through God's people....us!


So on Easter Day we celebrated....some of us at dawn, albeit a dull one, by lighting a fire in a courtyard, praying and singing and I discovered how much I like making and lighting a fire. My hands dirty but earthed by screwing up paper, laying twigs and kindling on top then setting light to it all. See the little glow burst into colourful flames, watch and smell the smoke rising, hear the wood crackling and the warmth spreading around and among us. Back to the basics then, so of course we shared food together later!!

Fire as we know then can be wonderful - giving us light to share, energy through warmth, cooking power by its heat, yet we also use it as a warning of danger, or as a threat to others in keeping them away. A story in the paper today tells of a family in their car at Longleat Safari Park which caught fire when they were in the lion's enclosure - fortunately they escaped safely - the fire endangered them yet kept the animals at bay.

It can ignite instantly and go out quickly or it can glow, be fanned by the wind and slowly gather heat enough to burn brightly for longer. We use this language of fire about all sorts of things - working in any community can be said to be more sustainable if we use the second slow burn approach, growing in faith often needs encouraging by some fresh air blowing among us, and sometimes bursting into a metaphorical 'flame' catches others alight too and we need to work together to capture that energy.

So as we look forward to a Spring filled with promise, filled with flowers bursting open in the hope that their message of life will be carried and spread by insects and wind and animals. May we also be like the Spring flowers. Let's help each other to be full of the hope that God's love gives us and bursting to spread our message of life to all those who have never been given the opportunity to experience it before....so,

"May the light shine out from our eyes, like a candle set in the windows of a house,

and may the Lord bless us, and bless us kindly."