Monday’s Easter Greetings
Thank you so much for responding to the invitation to share Easter greetings – they have been rolling in all day! There are ’50 days of Easter’ in the church calendar (between now and Pentecost) – so we can at least start this time by sharing a few each day as greetings to one another. We treasure this sense of community and encouragement of one another in the faith and hope of this season. If you haven’t yet sent yours in, then here’s the link!
Please keep scrolling, as today’s reflection follows …
“Happy Easter to you all, and thank you for the daily reflections which have meant so much over these days xxx” from Llinos Jehu, 6.10 am in my garden in Marske-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire.
from Jane Williams, Llanrhos
“Remember now – this too shall pass, stay strong, keep the faith, all will be well.
from David and Myfanwy Jones, Gyffin
The winter is past
“My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;
for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land.'”
Caniad Solomon / Song of Songs 2: 10-12
“Mae’n galw arna i:
‘F’anwylyd, tyrd! Gad i ni fynd, fy un hardd.
Edrych! Mae’r gaeaf drosodd; mae’r glaw trwm wedi hen fynd.
Mae blodau gwyllt i’w gweld ym mhobman, y tymor pan mae’r cread
yn canu a cŵan y durtur i’w glywed drwy’r wlad.'”
Caniad Solomon 2: 10-12
Reverend Susan Blagden reflects on how, in these 50 days of Easter we each receive ‘God’s kiss of love’ and daily delight in knowing we are beloved.
This ancient variety of daffodil is one of my favourites and the bulbs have travelled with me through each of my homes in Wales! The vivid colouring is indeed reminiscent of ‘Dawn’ and speaks powerfully of spring. As the writer of the Song of Songs says: ‘the winter is past’.
During this week the daily readings of the church (the ‘lectionary’) draw our attention to this love poetry. It was a favourite book of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the pioneers of the Cistercian Order. He never tired of preaching from the Song of Songs! He tried to live each day in response to God’s call of love. This journey from winter to spring reaches its climax in Song of Songs chapter 8, culminating in being kissed by God. St. Bernard understood we need times for being penitential such as in Lent. He imagined us kneeling to kiss the feet of the Lord, in humility and pouring out the oil of repentance, willing to embrace a change in the way we live our lives. As we then become aware of God’s great mercy and receive his forgiveness, Bernard sensed a second invitation, to kiss God’s hands. We do this as a sign of our gratitude in response to God’s generosity to us shown supremely in the death of Jesus on the cross. Such costly giving then invites us to a deeper expression of love. Bernard says this is the third kiss, when ‘we humbly dare to raise our eyes to His mouth, so divinely beautiful, not merely to gaze upon it but – I say with fear and trembling – to receive his kiss’. This is the sign of intimacy, of a deep love, which is now possible because of Easter.
Each of us is the Beloved. To know ourselves becoming more and more transformed by Love gives us confidence and stability even in these continued times of fear and uncertainty. We need hope and purpose. We choose to raise our eyes to the face of the risen Christ. There we find love rejoicing. In these 50 days of Easter may we each receive God’s kiss of love and daily delight in knowing we are beloved.
Light of the world, You step down into darkness
Open my eyes let me see,
beauty that made this heart adore you
Hope of a life spent with you.
Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that you’re my God
You’re altogether lovely, Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me. Amen.
Daethost lawr i’r tywyllwch –
Agor fy llygaid i weld
Harddwch dy wedd sy’n rhoi gwefr i’m henaid,
Ti yw fy mywyd a’m nerth.
A dyma fi’n d’addoli, dyma fi’n ymgrymu,
dyma fi’n cyffesu, “Ti yw Nuw”;
Rwyt ti mor ddyrchafedig, O! mor fendigedig,
Arglwydd, mor garedig – ‘rwyt mor driw. Amen.
Tim Hughes, Cyfieithiad Awdurdodedig: Arfon Jones
Click here for previous daily reflections from our Ministry Team.