The Parish of St Michael and All Angels, Withyham

and All Saints, Blackham

East Sussex

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picture of Withyham church
St Michael and All Angels, Withyham

picture of Blackham church
All Saints, Blackham


 

Letter from the Rectory March 2018

Dear Friends,

Easter is, above all, about joy: the risen Saviour bursting forth from the empty tomb, offering life and hope, purpose and meaning, to a world bereft of these things.

We seem to be living in particularly challenging times, both nationally and internationally. One of the symptoms of our age is an increase in anger. Some of this is misplaced, the result of many factors associated with modern living, the stresses of our fast-moving world of multiple choices and the expectation that everything should be instantaneous. Some, on the other hand, is righteous anger, as people who have been ignored for too long, rise up indignant at the injustices around them. Jesus himself demonstrated righteous anger when he entered the Temple courts in Jerusalem and knocked over the tables of those making a quick buck at the expense of the visitors in a place intended for worship. It is an incident that surprises some whose picture of Jesus is rather different.

The author Dorothy Sayers once wrote, ‘The people who hanged Jesus never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore. On the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him ‘meek and mild’, and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.’

Without the resurrection of Jesus, the validity of the Christian Faith collapses. As an event in history, it is without parallel – and one that has changed the lives of countless numbers down through the centuries. Whilst some voices suggest that the Christian Faith – particularly in the West – is dying, the way that some of the younger generation of 20 and 30 year olds have embraced Christianity suggests to me that the truth is actually rather different.

Happy Easter!

James Campbell