Lent, Holy Week, and Easter


When I was a child and young adult I was always very keen to get everything right. I was very conscientious, worked hard, always tried my best and was really quite hard on myself – and therefore, no doubt, on everyone around me! This perfectionism came with a cost: the constant fear of failure and the horror of messing things up. I can remember talking to my mum about a work-related failure of some kind – I can’t remember what it was now – perhaps a disappointing performance review. ‘Well Claire’, she said, ‘welcome to the human race’.

And what she meant was: you are part of messy, chaotic, less-than-perfect, out-of-control creation. You are just like everyone else: uninsured against failure and disappointment like the rest of humanity. Striving to be perfect only alienates you from yourself and others. Accept you as you are: capable, hard-working, but as liable to make a mess of things as the next person. No one is immune from simply being a fallible human being.

And this is, I think, the message of Lent. Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. This is a renewal of our perspective on ourselves: to accept that we are dust is the first step in healing the many ways in which our lives become distorted and disrupted. Lent is the starting point in trying to mend our lives, through engaging with the story of Christ’s pouring out of love for us and for the world. If we know, through self-reflection, our need of God’s transforming love, then we can be ready for the new life ushered in at Easter.

The story of Holy Week and Easter is above all a story of transformation. In following carefully the journey of Jesus through the days before and after his death on the cross we can re-experience the power of his life-giving death. Jesus pours out his life to ensure that we can live. Death is defeated by his death, because his life was renewed on Easter morning. The Easter song is a song of joy that we can join that life – in spite of our keen awareness of our limitation – and that is God’s gift to us. We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song. All we need now is the courage to join the feast. 

Revd Claire McClelland, Team Vicar, St Peter's Church

Our message to you

You are welcome, whatever your beliefs, even if you find organised religion irrelevant.
You are welcome, whatever your lifestyle.
You are welcome, wherever you may be on your faith journey; believer or agnostic, conventional Christian, or questioning sceptic.
We look forward to receiving the ideas and experiences you can bring.
We welcome the infinite variety of human beings and hope that our shared witness to Christian faith will not leave anyone feeling unwanted or unloved.
We think that the way we treat each other is even more important than the dogmas we hold.
e think it is vital to take seriously the intellectual and emotional problems many people have with the Christian faith.
We think Christians must be concerned with global issues of injustice and suffering.
We recognise that our ignorance far outstrips our understanding and that there is great value just in asking questions as well as in finding answers.
We recognise that our faith involves discipleship and a consciousness of all that is bad and promotion of all that is good.
Our hope is that anybody visiting our churches will feel welcome.

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