Spring at Last?
We seemed to have been in the grip of winter for far too long and the effect on our morale and wellbeing can take its toll, so I hope that spring has finally sprung! Spring of course is an outward sign of new beginnings, when new life in all its fullness seems to blossom everywhere, from chicks to lambs even the daffodils come out to play. Spring gives us all hope for the future as we look expectantly to the warmth of the summer months. And the same is true for the Church, we have just experienced the season of Lent when we prepare ourselves through prayer and sacrifice (maybe you gave up chocolate) for the coming of Easter, as we travelled with Jesus on the path of death that leads to the Cross. Then the joyful celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday, some of you may have joined with us at our 5.30am Sunrise Service, but if you did not don’t worry there’s always next year! But for us as Christians Easter Sunday is in many respects the start of our spring time, when we celebrate new birth in Jesus Christ and the good news that his resurrection brings to the world he came to save. And in this time of uncertainty where events on the world stage such as Korea, Syria, Afghanistan plus too many others cause concern, we need, I believe to have hope for the future, a hope that the Good News of Jesus brings.
Yet what about this parish of St Laurence, what does spring/summer hold for us? Well this time last year it was the Jubilee and the Olympics’ that brought our community together in ways we had not seen in years. So my prayer is that as we emerge from our winter hibernation we re-birth ourselves in the community spirit we experienced last year. All too often it is in the simple acts where we have the greatest impact, checking on the neighbour we have not seen for some time, or perhaps befriending somebody new to the area, making Eastwood a warm and friendly place to live. As for St Laurence we have joined with other Church’s within the Southend area collecting food for a food-bank, which impacts upon many especially in this time of economic hardship. But whether church goer or not we all have a part to play in the cohesion of our community, so as we look to new life in this spring time let our community be our starting point, using the gifts I believe God has given us for the benefit of all.