Holy week 2018 is drawing to a close and there have been lots of good things happening.
Holy week brings the church through suffering, death, and sorrow to the great high feast of Easter day. Read on for stories about how we’ve been marking the week in Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley. The first Easter morning, Jesus burst forth from a grave which could not hold him:
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen…
The church runs on resurrection power. Without it there is and can be nothing. Jesus crucified and risen. This is love. This is power. This is our only song. Come into Life @acnbchurch. Just ask. We're always happy to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ.
Talks and 'Giving us life' for the Easter week
Revd Vanessa's talk from the 09:30 Communion is online in as an edited text
Giving us life our collection of things which have come to our notice this week is also live:
Crucifixion was the least decent, most painful and entirely final method of execution the Roman state could come up with. Yet it is the crucifixion of Jesus, and his eternity shifting resurrection that my faith, our faith, the faith of the church is staked on. We are resurrection people. People who carry around in us the death of Jesus, so that his healing life and power can be revealed. People who can do nothing else but invite you to share in this hope, love, and faith.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God….we preach Christ crucified: …to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
Easter Egg Hunt at St Mark
Traditionally Good Friday is the time the church reflects on the crucifixion, often, as happened at All Saints in North Baddesley, with a silent meditation before a cross in the church. In Ampfield though there is another tradition: an egg hunt in the extensive church grounds. Despite being freezing cold and wet there were lots of happy children and families finding eggs and discovering a little bit more about what Easter means.
Tenebrae at St Mark, Ampfield
Maundy Thursday saw the ancient service of Tenebrae and a silent prayer vigil observed at St Mark’s church rooms. The name ‘Tenebrae’ translates as ‘Darkness’ in Latin and that describes the course of the service well. Lights around the church are put out in sequence until the building is in darkness.
Open night prayer at All Saints North Baddesley
We have had three evenings of open prayer at All Saints North Baddesley. Prayer alone and together is at the heart of all healthy churches. In it we draw closer to understanding God’s will for our communities. Wednesday saw Revd Vanessa reflect on the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.
Judas is the most easily vilified of the gospel characters. For him to be the catalyst for sending Jesus to an agonising death seems an unspeakable act to most people. On Wednesday my reflection was that Christ’s response to Judas, and to each one of us, is to reach into the very depths of the hell that we create for ourselves. Ironically, what Judas’s action allows us to see is a love so powerful that nothing can quench it, not even the darkest shadows of hate. In this is our hope.
Lent Course for @acnbchurch
The Lent course using Paula Gooder’s course based on the TV series ‘Broken’ (BBC 2017) has been well attended, and many folk have said that they have been struck by both the burden and opportunity that parish ministry poses. Its been good to reflect together as a congregation and ministry team and to think about what the year to come holds.