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CEL home > Links + Internat > Easter 2007


An Easter Thought

- submitted 6 April - Good Friday 2007 - by CEL member Barbara Mark

Can I start by saying where my inspiration came from to write this? One of our Leominster Team Ministry Ministers has written a book called 'The Gospel of Falling Down.' His name is Mark Townsend and the ISBN number is 1-84694-009-5. From personal experiences he openly thinks through failure and its impact on our relationship with God. A brilliant book and may I recommend it.

He quotes James Alison 'we are so used to describing Jesus' cross and resurrection as a victory that we easily forget that what that victory looked like was a failure. So great is the power behind Jesus' teaching and self-giving that he was able to fail, thus showing once and for all that 'having to win', the grasping on to meaning, success, reputation, life and so on is of no consequence all.'

So many things in Christianity are the reverse of what they seem. It challenges us all the time and Jesus asks us to turn away from all our instincts. In fact do the opposite of what we would expect to do. He does this from the cross because all these things put Jesus to death. If humans had loved their neighbours, refused to get jealous about anything, forgotten about their position in society, did not condemn or judge one another and loved God with all their hearts above every other issue there was on this planet, Jesus would not have died! However most of us do not seem to be able to learn these lessons. It is only when we realise what failures we are that we can start to step down the road of learning. It is so hard to bear but we learn that way. It is so interesting to hear my husband; a doctor of physics, an excellent engineer, a specialist in radio and control systems and a consultant say we learn most about the world around us and how it works when we fail. That is why we have to test things out for real and spend lots of time analysing results. When we look at people who are expert at things we imagine it comes easily but how wrong we are in this.

At this moment in time I am watching my mother die very slowly with dementia. As well as this the comfort and peace which surrounds our home is disintegrating as human endeavour carries on relentlessly, in an English Heritage project, which is striping out two woodlands and a well established marsh, removing birds nests and all wildlife before it, to establish a manor in the state it was in the 1700s. I can understand how passionately the English Heritage folk feel about bringing back the past and how they can not understand how upset it is making people around here. They can not see or appreciate our pain at loosing untamed and rather untidy nature because what they are doing is good. I describe all this because it makes me realise in a very small way what agony the disciples of Jesus were going through on Good Friday. How their life was collapsing around them. How they were having to come to terms with the reality of the death of someone so special and so apparently untouchable. We know that they will discover a greater truth beyond the pain of the events as they are unfolding but of course they did not. They were utterly defeated, utterly wretched.

How glorious the revelation that the things of this world are transitory but the love of God will be with us forever.

Barbara Mark


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