Revd Gary's Pastoral Letter April 2020
Listed Under: Vicars Blog
I have a particular fondness for daffodils. Perhaps I should as one of my illustrious predecessors decided to plant them all around the vicarage garden: each border seems to have ranks of like miniature tête-a-tête daffodils at this time of year. Then there are the ones growing in the middle of the lawn. Don’t get me onto the roses….. Over on Colletts Green, Madresfield Court and throughout the churchyard at Guarlford, Daffodils continue to bloom. They have taken over from a heady display of snow drops and crocuses. They have always seemed to me to be a very cheery sort of flower, proud and confident with their bright yellows, contrasting with the deep green of their leaves and stalks (which make great palm crosses for front doors, by the way). Some have orange crowns - I am sure someone greener fingered will tell me why or what they are called.
The daffodil is strongly associated with Wales of course but above all I think the daffodil's bright colour brings a sense of warmth and expectancy after the cold dreariness of a very long winter made harsher by lockdowns, wherever you live. Like the royal heralds dressed in their splendid robes, they announce loudly that spring is here, that the days are getting longer and the warmth will return again. There are better things to come, just wait! It’s a shame we could not all gather to see them at their best on the Madresfield Estate as the Daffodil Sunday had to be cancelled.
Better things to come. With lockdown easing, and the roadmap underway, perhaps we can sense a new spring, a new normality coming to the fore. With Easter falling this month. The most joyous of Christian Feasts, there is hope to behold too. Happy Easter to you. He is Risen - Risen indeed - Alleluia!
He is risen! That is the very message of hope that the Bible brings. Jesus's message was one of love and compassion to all people. He often spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, a place where all are loved and all are at peace. Jesus knew that the world was not always a place of love and compassion. He knew that many people were more interested in wealth, self-interest and were uncaring for others. During his own life Jesus went out of his way to talk to those who thought that they did not deserve God's love, or who had been cast out by the local community. He spoke with lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes, he healed and told them that they too could receive God's love. The Kingdom of Heaven is a place where all feel and experience the love of God and Jesus wanted all people to experience what heaven was like here on earth.
After his death and resurrection, Jesus entrusted his disciples to continue his work, to speak with those on the outside of the community and to show them that they are loved by God. Like the daffodils that herald the coming of better times ahead, Jesus wanted the Church to be heralds of the Kingdom of God too. The Church does that by showing compassion and love to all, and by proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. The question for all of us is how do we play our part in this? With our churches reopening and hopefully our bells ringing, we shall be proclaiming that fact loudly. And across Powick, the Powick Parish Magazine should be delivered to subscribers as well as remaining a feature for all on the parishes’ website. As the vaccination programme gives us confidence, and if we behave ourselves, lockdown relaxation will come. However. I hope that some facets of the lockdown are not conveniently forgotten when we charge to the (“non-essential”) shops, queue for a haircut, plan a distant holiday. How did we tend to the lonely and the needy during the lockdowns? Who cleared the face coverings from the byways and highways? Who prayed for our villages? We were there. We must be there still.
How can we act like heralds of better things to come? Are we proud and bold like the daffodils? That is what we should strive to be, so I pray that we may all find our inner daffodil, proclaiming God's love for all and showing people the good things that are to come.
God bless and Easter blessings to you all, Best wishes - Rev Gary