As we enter the time of Lent and Easter we are reminded that this time of the year in the Christian calendar is synonymous with “giving up, going without and giving back – about sacrifice”. The shops of course have their Easter eggs and we are reminded by the TV advertisement that we can go on “an Easter egg hunt – to search, to find and to enjoy” – but we have to do something, go somewhere, give something up in order to potentially and possibly discover something.
Lent and Easter means different things to different people and last evening, as I watched Songs of Praise I was again reminded by an old hymn that lent and Easter is about giving and getting, about failure and forgiveness. That hymn “When I survey the wondrous cross” is special to me as it reminds me of time spent with a very dear friend who I journeyed with for a good number of years and who died in 2010. I was privileged to visit him often (a privilege I still value today) and up until his journey drew to a close. I recall the last time I was with him and he was so poorly. Just before leaving him I prayed with him and for him and in that prayer I quoted the first verse of that hymn.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
To my absolute amazement, knowing that he was so poorly, after I had finished speaking he then spoke the words from last two verses:-
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
A few hours later I received the call to say that he had left us. Whenever I hear and sing that hymn I am reminded of my friend and also of Lent and Easter – giving up and giving back, of failure and forgiveness and of restoration and resting on the great and precious promises of God.
We may not find the hidden Easter eggs even if we look for them but we will find the Easter message if we take the time to look and discover – it is there for our taking.
Details of services in the Chapel are above and may I please say again – you will be made so welcome.
Bye for now and thank you.
Martin Buckby – For and on behalf of The Chapel on the Green
For more information visit the Nether Heyford Baptist Chapel page.