Welcome music by Mr Tizzard – Here
From the School Chaplain
Assemblies are a time for the whole Stover School Community to come together in celebration and reflection, and this week I invite you to take a few moments and join me to explore the week’s theme of the true meaning of Easter, which we look forward to during the break.
This has to be my favourite time of year. Easter derives its name from Oestre, a pre-Christian goddess; and the festival we have today is a glorious mingling of her symbols of rebirth, fertility and Spring, with the most important Christian festival.The ancient symbol of the egg, known as a sign of the return of life after Winter’s sleep, today also carries the Christian association of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we exchange Easter eggs as gifts, we are enacting an ancient wisdom of the unexpected – that which appears to be still and dead, in fact contains new life.
But this year there will be no egg-rolling down the village hill, no inviting of local children into the vicarage garden to look for hidden treasures, no Palm Sunday procession through the streets or Good Friday walk to the cross on the hill; no hot cross buns taken to neighbours and no Easter Day celebration in our churches, because together, we find ourselves in the midst of the unexpected: largely indoors in our houses or in our gardens, keeping ourselves safe from the Covid-19 virus sweeping the world.
At the heart of the Christian festival of Easter is the threatening devastation of the death of Jesus on Good Friday, followed by his rising again to new life on Easter Day. It was predicted by the prophets of old and Jesus himself, but was nevertheless, unexpected. A glance at the life of Jesus shows me that his attitude to life was always to create an environment where the unexpected could happen. There were no lost causes for Jesus, not even death itself. He encouraged hope and a positive approach to whatever life might throw at the people he met. The hopeless became hopeful, the lost found direction, the sick were healed and the rejected found community.
The times we live in are unexpected, but they will not last. Perhaps the true meaning of Easter is that we need not be slaves to the bad things that happen in life, but people who continuously look for opportunities to celebrate and promote new life. We can see it all around in our fields and lanes, and in so many communities coming together to support each other. Where do you and your loved ones find it?