Lent - a time of preparation

In June 2014 my daughter Helen got married. For at least 12 months before the event, plans and preparations were being made. In life, the greater the event the more necessary the preparation.

Helen and Tom’s wedding day was perfect in every way. It was on the 21st of June, the longest day. The sun shone from dawn to dusk. We arrived at St. Cleer parish church in an open topped camper van, perfect in the hot, sunny weather. The church is an amazing place for a wedding. Keith conducted the service with reverence, grace and dignity. He had a wonderful way of including everyone in the marriage ceremony, whatever their faith. Many comments have been made since about the wise words that he spoke. Our family will always remember the marvellous service he had conducted at such a difficult time in his life. As most of you will know his wife Val was seriously ill in hospital and he had left her bedside to conduct the wedding. The wedding was to be his last before Val’s death. He had given to us during his saddest time, so that our family could experience our happiest time.

Lent is a time of preparation for the most important event in Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even though it was God’s plan that His Son would die for us, it is so sad that we humans should choose to kill God’s Son. He had spent three years of his life giving hope to a people that had lost their freedom, healing people who had no hope of recovery. It seems that the raising of Lazarus was the miracle that finally caused the Jewish leaders to seek Jesu’s death. Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus were Jesu’s friends; He often stayed with them when He journeyed to Jerusalem. When Lazarus was taken ill and subsequently died Jesus was not there. Four days later he arrives and after talking with Mary and Martha He weeps as He approaches the tomb. He commands that the stone be rolled back and calls the dead man back to life. You would think all would believe after seeing this, but not so. A chain of events lead to the high priest saying, “that it is be better for one man to die for the people than the whole nation to perish.” John 11 v50

Jesu’s saddest time became our happiest time; His death was to deal with all the consequences of mankind’s rebellion towards God. The cross became the bridge between earth and heaven.

His subsequent resurrection brings real hope to a planet that is cursed with certain death. We have many reasons to celebrate this Easter. Let us remember we are not alone. Jesus the Christ is alive.