A Thought for March 2014
By the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam
A few issues ago, Grapevine reported on the rebuilding of the small Church school in Powerstock.
A bit over two years ago, on the day after the original school burned down, the Headmaster picked up a nail from the floor of the charred building. At the reopening of the School last Autumn he said that whenever the rebuilding project had got difficult, the nail had given him hope.
He gave me the nail and hoped it would help me when things were difficult and that I would eventually pass it on to someone who needed it more.
I am using the Powerstock nail to help me pray in Lent and will pass it on after Easter. The nail links me to the cross and makes me think about the suffering of the world. It also points to the power of love and the hope of resurrection.
The stories of the Passion of Christ are of God being very close to us. At the beginning of Holy Week, we remember Christ being welcomed into Jerusalem by the crowds and him weeping over Jerusalem because it did not recognise the things that make for peace.
As events unfolded, the disciples were all too ordinary as Peter denied him, Judas betrayed him and the others fled. It was a dislocating experience, as suffering and death so often are.
Early on the Sunday morning Mary Magdalene and some combination of others came to the tomb and discovered it was empty.
We can hang the whole story on the nail by which Christ was crucified.
He rebuilds the community of the resurrection with the same people who let him down so badly. Thank God the story depends less on our believing in God and more on God believing in us.
I hope you will have a hopeful and very happy Easter.