April 8th 2020
Easter Day is the most special day of the year. It tells us that we are the disciples of a Risen Saviour, sharing his resurrection life!
The stories of Jesus' life tell of a man totally in tune with God. So closely in tune that God was seen in him in a way that had never been seen before. So closely in tune that his friends realised that he and God were one.
We might imagine that being one with God would mean that Jesus had no doubt that this was the right thing to do, and his ordeal would have been easy for him to bear. Yet that's not what we see. We see a man searching for a different way. A way that didn't involve an agonising death.
But there was no other way. And Jesus went to his death believing, and hoping, that God would, somehow, honour his gift of life and faith.
God did, truly, honour all that Jesus had given. Life was restored – a life that was richer and deeper than we could imagine. Life eternal, offered to us, too, if we accept it.
Easter Day is the day that we celebrate Christ's risen life, and the day we celebrate that this life lives in us. Its the day that makes us who we are – disciples of a Risen Saviour!
Despite our circumstances, there are a few things planned to make Easter Day a special day of celebration.
At 10am, Churches Together hope that all Christians will go outside and sing a verse of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today", and "Thine Be the Glory" – you might need to take your CD player out with you (unless you play the trumpet!)
In the early days of Methodism, people would gather to share a Love Feast if they could not hold a Communion Service. They ate fruit cake, and drank water. As we can't celebrate Communion, would you like to join me for a Love Feast at 10:30am? We will use this week's worship material – at the top of the service sheet there is a link to enable you to share with me in an online service, using Zoom.
Just before 10:30am, cut and paste the link into your browser, and we will share the service together. You will need your own piece of fruit cake, and glass of water.
Of course, if you can't go online, you can still follow the service at the same time.
At the bottom of this letter, there's a recipe for the kind of fruit cake that was eaten 250 years ago – adapted from a recipe used in Yorkshire. Perhaps you would like to make one? The recipe makes enough for a whole congregation – I think half the quantity would be plenty! Of course, if you can't make one, then any kind of fruit cake would be fine.
Along with this letter, there is also the two halves of a poster for you to colour in yourself. The top half is designed to be placed in a window in the days before Easter – then add the bottom half on Easter Day to complete the message, Hope is Found – because Hope Finds Us!
Why not take a photo of your poster, in your window, and upload it to the Church's Facebook page?
And if you would like to decorate an Easter Cross, or make an Easter Garden, we'd love to see a photo of that too!
With much love, and prayers that you will be blessed by God's presence this Easter season.
A traditional Love Feast Cake Recipe
Adapted from the Middlesmoor Lovefeast Bread used in the Yorkshire Dales at the time of John Wesley
1lb (400g) plain flour 1oz (25g) baking powder
5oz (125g) butter 8oz (200g) sugar 2oz (50g) mixed peel
4oz (100g) sultanas 2 eggs
About half a pint (280ml) of milk
�€� Mixtheflourandbakingpowdertogether,rubinthebutter,thenaddthe sugar, sultanas and peel.
�€� Beat the eggs together with a little milk and add to the dry ingredients. �€� Add the rest of the milk to make a soft consistency.
�€� Cookat180°C(350°F)orgasmark4foratleast45minutesfortheloaftins,or 1 hour for the large cake tin.