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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

17 April 2019: Magnus Bashaarat, All Saints' Church, Steep

Reflections on Easter

Steep's favourite son, Edward Thomas, whose memorial window stands in All Saints' church, wrote in his poem, 'March'

“Now I know that Spring will come again,
Perhaps tomorrow: however late I've patience
After this night following on such a day.”

He writes later in the poem about hail tearing at primroses, and “rain, snow, sleet and hail”, all of which we have experienced over these past weeks. We glimpsed Spring in March, and saw unseasonably warm weather and records tumble. Barbecues were wheeled out and uncovered, and the Great British DIY sap started rising. And then it went all cold and grey again, like steely February. Thomas the soldier as opposed to Thomas the naturalist would have had a more circumspect view of Spring, as on the Western Front it tended to signal that the fighting season was here again, as witnessed by Wilfred Owen in his poem, 'Spring Offensive'.

In the Christian church calendar now we look forward to the reassuring inevitability of Easter, with Palm Sunday presaging Holy Week, and the run-in to Good Friday and Easter Sunday via Maundy Thursday, all regularly mapped out and predictable, unlike the advent of Spring.

Of course, the unpredictability of the British weather pales by comparison to the uncertainty of British politics. The Brexit hokey-cokey continues; businesses tell us they can’t plan, supermarkets tell us they can’t guarantee food supplies, and the M20 will either resemble the world's biggest car park, or it will become an artery of aid vehicles bringing supplies to a besieged nation.

All the more reason why the Easter bank holiday should be a time of celebration but also reflection, and a time to think of the promise of the eternal, and not the problems of the ephemeral.

Join us for the PACT Walk of Witness on Good Friday - meet at the Methodist Church at 9:30 am or in the Square at 10:00 am. See Easter Services organised my PACT churches



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