April 2011

“Martin Writes” April 2011

There are many “wow” moments in life. Moments when you stop and stare; moments when you find you have a smile on your face; moments that form the treasury of memories that you look back on.

We were treated to one of those moments when James’ choir (officially the Warwickshire County Boys Choir !) sang to a seriously packed church last month.  It was a simply wonderful evening, not just listening to the varied programme so well performed, but seeing the faces of the boys move from concentration to enjoyment to delight (no, that wasn’t seeing the table loaded with cake !). It was a truly memorable evening, and we owe James and Cassie a huge debt of thanks for arranging it for us. James was the busiest of everyone that evening, selling the programmes, organising the technical end, running errands, singing, and even finding time to sign the odd autograph !  He deserved his lie-in the next day, and his efforts raised nearly £900 towards the Tower Fund. Well done !!

But while we think about “wow” moments, surely we come to the greatest one of all time this month.  As Lent draws us into Holy Week and Easter, we face a moment that carries a very different sense of awe. Jesus’ treatment by the religious and political authorities, the cruelty and abuse at the hands of the professional soldiers,  the abandonment by his closest friends that left him alone to face his execution, and the agonies of the cross are events which are almost too awful to comprehend.

For me, the crucial moment in this dreadful yet holy weekend is the moment in the garden, where Jesus bows his will to the Father – the moment when he could have walked away, when he could have dug his heels in and refused, the moment of choice. Indeed, this is the moment of the cross, literally, as the word comes from the same root : crux, crucial, crucifixion, cross.

How often have we heard those words “Yet not my will but yours be done” and not understood the full implication of them? I am challenged by this …. how often do I dig my heels in and stubbornly cling on to my will, or walk away from something God is calling me to because I don’t want to do it. Surely this single moment in our Holy Week journey brings us face to face with the very place of God in our lives.

The events that lead us to the cross begin with this awesome place of acceptance, and are then vindicated and glorified in the outburst of life on Resurrection Day. Our challenge is to allow God to reveal his glory in us as we humbly accept his will in our lives.

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