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Letter from the Bishop – April 2012

April Fool’s Day this year falls on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, and, of course, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. A donkey is not an obvious animal for Jesus the King to have chosen.  That of course is why he did it! Riding a horse would have carried a very different message.

Jesus came to show God’s way of authority, of loving service, not military might. How foolish, some thought and some still think!

There is a strong theme in Christian writing of Jesus as “the fool”, the fool in Shakespeare’s sense of the one who challenges and so often reveals the truth. Jesus certainly challenges us all to give up the way of our own egos and self-centredness, and seek instead the way of his Father, as he did: God at the centre of our lives instead of ourselves.

More than that, he challenges us to turn all our thinking upside down. “Lose your life to find it.” “The first shall be last.”  “The greatest among you must be the servant of all.”   “The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”

In this most Holy of Weeks, we are face to face with the profound nature of these truths, there in Jesus’ life, suffering and death. He not only teaches us this way by his words, he teaches us this way by his actions, living this way totally, completely. There is no other way for him, and no other way for us if we are to fully discover the meaning and purpose of our own lives.

The more we follow the way of the cross, the more we discover that it is the way of that fullness of life which is resurrection life. Die to live and so experience life out of death.

How foolish is that!

With best wishes and prayers for a most holy Week and a very joyful Easter beyond.


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