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I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all our staff, trustees, volunteers, partner agencies and supporters a very Happy Easter.
I've been thinking a bit about how central the garden is to the Easter story. For followers of Jesus this has been the most holy week of the year. Holy not as in super-spiritual and other worldly. More like a because the central drama of the betrayal, trial, cruxifiction and burial of Jesus is like that of a loved one, a friend and a mentor. Very human. It was in Gethsemene, that real tears were shed and Calvary that real blood was spilt. Its impossible to not reflect on the trials and tribulations in our own families and the world. Many of us have wrestled with grief and agony that is almost impossible to bear. Its torture, we say. And yet like a garden springing into life after its visual 'death' in winter, if we have eyes to see then victories are happening - however gradual at first.
As a charity we are so blessed to be involved with helping people with the little victories in their lives. Progress, rather than some artificial 'perfection'.
Early on the Sunday it was again in a garden that this was all put right. Where people were met in their grief and anguish by the risen Christ - but not as they knew him before as a Nazarene wandering preacher getting into trouble with the establishment, now in a new way available for anyone who needs Him.
And now in our society, for those often without a Christian faith now, or just the traces of it, the prospect of a 4 day weekend and expectation of better weather ahead is on many peoples' minds. Perhaps as a totally understandable welcome relief from the stress of the cost of living crisis and unrelenting destruction of precious human lives in Ukraine!
The garden of tears and the agony (at times) has not gone away and is a fundamental truth we cannot escape. However there is good news. There's a popular meme/saying that all will be ok in the end and if it is not yet ok, then its not the end. That could be our Easter reflection for this coming Springtime.
Its the first time in a while that both Passover and Ramadan have shared this season so to our colleagues and friends in those traditions may you also experience peace and togetherness in your families at this special time.
Every good wish,