©Kirton News 2018
The View from the Vicarage
April 1st - is Easter Day 2018 and April fools day! Many people say that the Easter story as told and preached in the Church is a stretch too far. And who wants to be seen as a fool?
Here is story that might help you re-evaluate the Easter story.
It was just after the second world war at the famous Portsmouth Naval dockyard. One day a Ministry of Defence policeman stopped a worker who was walking out of the dockyard gates pushing a wheelbarrow with a suspicious looking package in it. The policeman opened the package and found it contained nothing but some old bits of rubbish, sawdust and floor-sweepings.
The next day he stopped the same worker who was again pushing a wheelbarrow containing a suspicious looking package. Once more it contained nothing of any value. The same thing happened several days on the trot, until the policeman finally said, ‘OK, I give up. I know you are up to something, but I just can’t tell what. Please, I promise not to arrest you, but put me out of my misery; tell me what you are stealing.” The worker smiled, leaned towards the policeman and whispered: “I’m stealing wheelbarrows.”
Some things in life are almost too obvious to see, and easily missed. There are often different ways to look at and understand the realities of life as we experience them. Remember the wheelbarrows.
We have a tendency, even in the church, to marginalize the resurrection. We spend time in front of the Cross on Good Friday. We do suffering well, perhaps because it resonates so closely with our experiences in life. But we hardly do resurrection at all.
The resurrection is so far beyond our human experience that, of course, we will be uncomfortable with it. Human beings do not, generally speaking, come back to life from the dead. Any of us raised with the critical mindset of western scientific, rational thought will therefore spin a variety of plates in our hands: the early disciples were simple men, there were other explanations for what happened but they took the path of least resistance; the psychology of resurrection is powerful.
Different interpretations of these events got lost as, over the years, a powerful orthodoxy emerged. We are children of our time, programmed to read these events in a particular way. What if that programming is wrong? What if we’ve missed the wheelbarrows disappearing before our eyes?
It is hard to escape the transformation of the first disciples from frightened, uneducated, powerless, ineffectual men to a group of people who changed the world. The resurrection is the key. It is very difficult to explain the change and transformation within these ordinary men, except by virtue of the extraordinary thing they had witnessed. I believe it was the experience of the resurrection that changed them. This is an event that cannot be ignored.
We naturally think the point is that the stone at the entrance of the tomb was rolled away so that Jesus could get out. But we’re wrong. Time and again the gospel writers are at pains to tell us that Jesus after the resurrection inhabits a completely new dimension - he appears through locked doors, jumps alarmingly through time and space completely against the laws of physics, thermo-dynamics and everyday experience. They clearly didn’t think he needed to move the stone to get out of the tomb.
It was not rolled away so that Jesus could get out. It was rolled away so that we could look in. This is for our benefit, not his. The rolled stone is an invitation to all disciples down the ages to come close, and look inside the empty tomb, and ever thereafter see the world differently. We’re not just meant to do this every Easter, but regularly, as part of a pattern in our lives. That’s why we go to church each week and celebrate the Eucharist. It’s a weekly reminder of the resurrection. It alters perspective. C S Lewis once summed up the meaning of Easter like this: “I believe in the resurrection of Jesus, in the same way as I believe the sun rose this morning; not only because I can see it, but because now I see everything else in the light of it.”
This Easter, as we gaze in past the rolled stone to the empty tomb, can we see the wheelbarrows disappearing before our eyes? Can we see past our pre-programmed tendencies and glimpse a new truth. The stone is rolled away for our benefit, inviting us afresh to gaze in, ponder the scene before us, and walk away seeing the world around us with a new vision.
I wish you all a very happy and holy Easter.
Boston Lunch Club and Boston Social Club Volunteers needed!
Enhance your life of a visually impaired person by helping out at one of our social clubs. Just a couple of hours on a regular based could mean something to look forward to for an isolated person. We are looking for people who love a good natter and willing to make teas and coffees and join in with card/board games depending on the club and interest of members.
What we mean by a ‘Volunteer’...
* Someone who is enthusiastic and willing to give up as little or as much of their spare time as they can, to get involved in a vital cause!
* Someone who loves to chit-chat over a cup of tea/coffee, with the patience to also listen to others!
* Someone who is trustworthy, reliable, cheerful, punctual and open to building new friendships!
* Who doesn’t want to feel rewarded for making tea, eating biscuits and talking to others!?
* You would be enhancing your CV and be playing a vital role in your community and making that community more accessible to blind/partially sighted people
* You would be provided with training and assistance required to volunteer with those who are blind/partially sighted
Get in touch with us for more information - Contact: Eve Farley, Volunteer Development Officer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org