I think that one of the most amazing things about Easter is that it happens every year! You will probably say, “Of course it does!” And you would be right, It is easy to see it coming, year after year. Wait until March 20th, then watch the moon. Easter Day is the Sunday after the first full moon after March 20. This is why the date moves around a bit, but it always happens!
Why is this amazing? Because we know that Jesus died on the cross about one thousand nine hundred and seventy six years ago, and three days later was raised from the dead. St Paul says that Jesus “died on the cross once, for all”. That is, Jesus only died once and was only buried once and was only raised from the dead once.
But that death and resurrection was for the salvation of everybody, alive, dead or yet unborn.
This is the reason that Easter comes around every year. The Resurrection of Jesus is for all people, in all places, at all times. So, amazingly enough, the Resurrection of Jesus is with us every year, on Easter Day. But Easter Day is a Sunday, which makes every Sunday a day of Resurrection. This is why the church meets on every Sunday – to be part of the Resurrection.
However, imagine that you were alone and far from civilisation. If you went to sleep, and woke up in the morning, how would you know if it was Sunday? Without watches, mobile phones or computers, there is no way of telling which day is which. All days begin with the rising of the Sun and end with its setting.
So every day is a day of Resurrection!
Every day gives us the chance to be raised up to full and eternal life with Christ in his resurrection. The power of the Resurrection means that we can rise to new life every day!
This is why Christians can be so full of life – every day brings the gift of a new beginning.
Jesus died on the cross, once for all, true! But his new life fills every moment of every day from the beginning of time to the end of eternity.
That is what we celebrate on Easter Day.So I would encourage you to make sure that Easter Day is extra special this year. Our program follows this letter…
I hope we’ll celebrate together.
We begin by walking the last week of Jesus’ earthly life in Holy Week.
Day 1. Sunday 5th April Palm Sunday is the first day, April 5th, with a procession of palms round the church, and the reading of the story of the Passion.
Day 4. Wednesday 8th AprilEucharist with Prayers for Healing at 10.am in the St Augustine Chapel
Day 5. Thursday 9th AprilMaundy Thursday celebrates the New Commandment (Mandatum Novum) which Jesus gave us to share the bread and wine of the Last Supper – “in remembrance of me”
Our service begins at 7.30 on Thursday 9th April. We celebrate the Last Supper and wash our feet in remembrance of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The table is cleared and we can spend sometime in the darkened church, waiting with Jesus for the day of his death.
Day 6. Friday 10th April Good Friday, (God Friday) begins with prayer and worship at 9.30 am. The Cross is carried into the church and we use stones to lay our troubles on Christ’s shoulders.
At Twelve Noon we walk the Way of the Cross, following the way of Jesus from his condemnation to his crucifixion and to the tomb where he is laid.
Three O’clock is the hour of Jesus’ death. There is a service of Prayer at the Foot of the Cross.
Day 7. Saturday 11th April Holy Saturday is also called Easter Eve – it is a mistake to call it Easter Saturday – we spend the morning from about 9.30 tidying up the church and grounds ready for the Resurrection.
Easter Eve – 11th April. At 8 pm we gather in the dark to light the New Fire of the Resurrection and to celebrate the New Life of Baptism and the Eucharist in Christ Jesus. This year we will baptise James Barnes and John Lo.
But why 8 o’clock at night? Because the Jewish day ends at 6pm and we just can’t wait until morning to celebrate the third day when Jesus rose again.
Easter Day – the first day of your new life!
Then it really is Easter Day and time for the greatest celebration of the Christian year.
We will have our Easter Eucharist at 9.30am and follow it with an early lunch in the Hall. Please bring food to share and make this a really great day of new life for us and for our guests.