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St Andrew’s • Cheam

News from St Andrew’s

Craig’s April message

Craig Bowman
Revd Craig Bowman

This month we complete the journey we have been on toward Jerusalem with Jesus and we shall celebrate Easter on Sunday 4th April. Easter is the celebration of resurrection and falls for us in springtime. At this time there is an abundance of images around that we can draw on to explain and explore this promise of new life: trees budding and blossom bursting out, flowers blooming, life beginning in lambs and chicks. So many images we could and do draw on.

Some of you, however, may have celebrated Easter in the Southern hemisphere where Easter comes not at the beginning of spring but as they enter autumn. I wonder what images they use to illustrate Easter and resurrection ‘down under’. Does anyone know? I have resisted the temptation to ‘Google’ it and wonder if someone within the church might already know.

I did, however, come across the following poem that speaks of the promise of new life that is to be found in an autumn fruit, the acorn.

Acorns by Susan Price

Ripe acorns drop like green-brown hail.
How strange that oaks produce such little fruits:
Nuts capped [or cupped] in woody scales,
waiting for spring to quicken hidden roots.
These nuts fallen on leathered oak leaf litter
do not appeal to me. I tried to eat
some as a child, found them mealy and bitter-
Yet squirrels value them as hoarded treats,
bury hundreds against winter’s hunger.
Too many to remember. . . Overlooked,
they have a chance to change, take on a younger
form, eternal hopes enfleshing, hooked
into the tangled now, assuaging grief
with emerging root and tender leaf.

Whether we live in the Northern or Southern hemispheres, and whatever imagery and symbols we use to describe Easter, it’s all rather meaningless unless we allow the resurrection of Christ to transform us. We need to allow his Spirit to feed, water and warm the bulbs, nuts and seeds of potential, planted within each of us, that they might grow and add to the abundance of new life in the world around us.

Craig Bowman

The Revd Craig Bowman is minister of St Andrew’s Cheam and Wallington United Reformed Churches

Posted on 1 Apr 2021