Greetings from Eileen
As I write and think on the Resurrection – the joy of Easter – I am still on that part of our journey where crowds cheer and jeer, and the disciples are confused not being able to work out their mixed feelings – mostly dark with growing hopelessness and so muddled that they could not make sense of all they had learnt from Jesus. There was a great deal of blame and manipulation and deception leading to betrayal. There was gruesome injustice, sorrow, and pain. There was separation and hiding, fear and regret. And amidst this, there was repentance and the giving and receiving of resurrection hope to the most unlikely people: a member of the Sanhedrin, a criminal on his cross, and a Centurion.
But what about the Resurrection? What would it mean to us if we had seen Jesus after he was resurrected from the grave, like Mary Magdalene had, then his chosen disciples, and later 500 more? Lazarus had previously been resurrected on Jesus’ command by His Father’s power, and now it was the Lord himself resurrected. It is time the reality of eternal life is grasped. What would it mean for you and me to be as confident of life in the state of glory reunited with those who we love but see no more in mortal life as picking up the telephone or mobile and calling family or friends today? That is the joy of Easter. It is not half-hearted joy. In Jesus, his journey to the Cross into the depths of hell and resurrected beyond the grave, is eternal hope realised and demonstrated.
I am grateful to those of you who have arranged to be in Bishop Auckland to experience the extraordinary enactment of the greatest life and gift from God of Jesus Christ and those who were with him in his final days. I am pleased that we are now also able to invite you to watch the 12 noon performance livestream by viewing the stream I hope you will pray as you watch, that many cast, crew, and audience discover/re-discover God’s love powerfully and experience the transformation of his grace.
Rev’d Canon Eileen Harrop
St Andrew'sServices this weekend
- + 15th April: Good Friday Act of Worship (led by the Bishop’s Chaplain) at 9:30am
St Mary'sServices this weekend
- + 14th April: Maundy Thursday – 7pm Holy Communion with the Washing of the Feet and Stripping of the Altar
- + 15t April: Churches Together Service with Procession of the Cross (led by Fr Thomas Mason and Rev’d Canon Tim Ollier) at 10:30am
I commend to you the Archbishop of Canterbury’s article in The Spectator magazine this week, as he calls us to remember in our thoughts and prayers the people of Ukraine:
God is with us and has given us a place with the saints in light. With the risen life of Christ within you, go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia!
The Notice Board
Well done and thank you to Claire, Sheila, and the whole team for the launching the first NEW SERVICE OF MESSY CHURCH FOR ALL THE FAMILY! We look forward to news of the next one in May.
• St Andrew’s, Winston PCC will meet on Monday 25th April at 7pm in the village hall.
• SPRING COFFEE MORNING! St Mary’s is holding a coffee morning 10.30am Saturday 30th April. Raffle prizes would be gratefully received and helpers on the day. Please contact Sue 01325 730379
• An unfamiliar Easter hymn: ‘Low in the Grave He lay…Up from the grave He arose’? Perhaps not. But as it will be sung on Easter morning in St Mary’s, Gainford, you may wish to listen to it before the service.
• Brian and Eileen are taking a week’s rest from Monday 18th. Rev’d Dr Alastair Prince will be returning to our parishes to preside, preach and celebrate at both churches on Sunday 24th April.
The Collect for Easter Day
God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Post Communion Prayer
God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The First Reading
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
The Easter Day Gospel: John 20:1-18
28 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.