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While our Rector David Tomlinson is on his sabbatical from May to the end of July 2019, Rachel Prior will write a Curate's Letter.
Curate's Letter – May 2019
It feels risky to write a Curate’s Letter about Easter…will it inevitably be a Curate’s egg?
The expression, a Curate’s egg, is a well-known description of something that is partly good and partly bad. It is believed to have originated in a cartoon published in a satire magazine in 1895, depicting a particularly austere Bishop sharing a meal with a rather timid and keen Curate. The Bishop growls to the Curate, "Dear me, I'm afraid your egg's not good!", and the Curate, desperate to please replies, "Oh, yes, my Lord, really - er - some parts of it are very good." The Curate will do anything to make good of a bad situation, even bending the truth to flatter his senior colleague.
Perhaps some might claim that Jesus’ friends were trying to make good of a bad situation in proclaiming that he had risen from the dead. After all, they had seen him betrayed, arrested, tortured, killed, and buried. What better way of making good of a bad lot and avoid dealing with the agony of grief than to claim that their friend was no longer dead? But, if these men and women had fabricated this Easter tale, then it is remarkable that they held fast to it even in the face of persecution. It is remarkable too, that this group, once so fearful of the authorities they tremble behind locked doors, suddenly begin to proclaim courageously about Christ’s resurrection to all who will listen. Perhaps you, like me, have come to the conclusion that the best explanation for these events is that the disciples had really encountered the risen Christ, and you too can cry out in faith this Easter season: ‘He is risen indeed, alleluia!’
Indeed, the gospels testify that in his death, resurrection and ascension, Christ was making good of a bad situation. The introduction to the Peace proclaims the words of Ephesians 2.13: Once, we were far off, but now in union with Christ Jesus we have been brought near, through the shedding of his blood. Christ paid the debt of love upon the cross, and now we can be at peace with God and one another. The Easter vision is of reconciliation: in Christ, God is reconciling the world to himself and we are called to be ambassadors of that peace.
Our mission is not one of misplaced optimism but of robust hope in the transforming power of the Easter story. Here we trust that God is reconciling all things and that nothing is beyond the divine redeeming power. Our mission is to embody this hope in a divided world. In our families and in our communities, we choose collaboration over contempt, honesty over hostility, and faithfulness over fear. We remember too that God’s reconciliation extends beyond us, to all people and the whole of creation. Our work as peacemakers, then, must acknowledge the reality of climate change, which disproportionally affects our brothers and sisters in poorer nations. As we seek to honour them and our Creator, so we renew our commitment to living more sustainably, in a way that honours God’s reconciling work, and brings peace to those beyond our immediate reach.
As we celebrate the Easter season, let us commit to bringing this Easter hope, which remains good news for all, at all times, and in all places.
Previous copies of Rector's Letter
Dec 2018/Jan 2019