This month of April begins on Maundy Thursday, the day when we remember the last meal Jesus shared together with his friends before he was arrested and crucified. It was the meal that has become so significant in the life of the Church, where bread was broken and a cup of wine passed round, coming to symbolise for us the brokenness of the body of Christ. The sacrifice he made for love of us.
Many of us will hopefully celebrate something of the Easter feast although restrictions continue for a while longer. We may not yet be able to gather in larger groups of family and friends, but perhaps we can glimpse what is to come?
This has always been the story of the Church, to point to what ‘is’ but which may not yet be fully realised. During this pandemic there has been a need for hope amongst such bleakness and now as the vaccine is shared and the signs of life appear in the world around us, we begin to see what might again be possible. To hope for a better future.
And yet in the bleakness of this first weekend of April, which takes us into the darkness of the tomb on Holy Saturday, we remember that hope is not cheaply bought. It is not mere optimism, but rather something, though fragile, that is stronger than death.
As some of us break our fast this Easter and share the bread and wine of the Eucharistic feast, may we know both the cost of such love and the hope that it offers.
Bishop of Taunton