Simon Taylor

18th C Coptic painting in Aby Sarga Church, Old Cairo: “Christ’s Resurrection: He breaks the gates of Hell  and saves Adam, Eve and the Prophets”

I grew up in a church which didn’t really focus muchon Palm Sunday, Lent or other moments of what is called ‘the Christian year’.  They were seen as human creations that could become rituals getting in the way of true worship – what mattered was Sunday, each Sunday, every Sunday. It took me many years to begin to see that we all have our own rituals and remembrances – the obvious one being birthdays, and they serve a purpose. Treated well and at their best, key moments in the Christian year are about bringing us closer to the Lord and deeper discipleship.

So, I wonder where you were last Sunday morning? To jog memories, it was Palm Sunday and there were two walks around Busbridge and Hambledon village to help us remember the start of Jesus’ final week. Why do we do such things? Because marking such moments helps us to recalibrate our priorities and put Christ at the centre of Easter in a decisive way. For this reason, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are huge events in many countries.

For us, they can be but one choice in many busy moments – a matter of weighing our options and deciding if we’ll be part of this moment of remembering and celebrating as God’s family.

For many Christians meeting to remember and celebrate is a matter of a careful decision as it marks them out for their faith in Christ.

Last Sunday morning, while we were wandering around peaceful suburbs and idyllic countryside two groups of Coptic Christians found themselves in a very different situation – just because they gathered in the name of Christ. So, this weekend we join as one with Egyptian Coptic Christians in the powerful words of Christian assurance over the emptiness of fear:

Pikhristos Aftonf!  Khen oumethmi aftonf!

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

As we gather to live this exciting Truth, see you on...

· Good Friday service for the whole family (9.30am, Busbridge)

· Good Friday, with over 100 of the church on the amazing church family Hot Cross Bun Adventure Walk (starts 2.15pm prompt at Hambledon Church, walking to Busbridge Church)

· Easter Saturday for the outreach focused Easter Garden service and egg hunt (3.00pm, Busbridge)

· Easter Sunday morning at Hambledon and Busbridge; 9.00am & 10.30am

· And don’t forget there is an extra special Unplugged Easter Celebration (6.30pm) – do come and support the younger people in their growing faith

For more details and other chances to gather, see the church website

Simon Taylor