After attending Mission Council last week, in High Leigh, I was able to attend the 24-hour retreat for Northern Church Leaders at Hinsley Hall in Leeds. It proved to be an extremely reflective opportunity with input from the Revd Dr Malcolm Guite, a poet theologian, Bye-Fellow and Anglican Chaplain at Girton College in the University of Cambridge.
As you journey in this Holy Week, through the Passion towards Easter Sunday, I would offer you one of Malcolm’s sonnets set for the start of this week and simply called “Palm Sunday”:
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.
Malcolm Guite: https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com (a sonnet for each day in Holy Week)
Linda Richardson: http://lindarichardson.net/ (to see a series of paintings to accompany Malcolm’s sonnets)
I pray this Easter that you, and all within our congregations in the Synod, may know in a fresh way the joy of resurrection hope and the work of God in Christ through us who “graciously gives us all good things” (Romans 8:32).