Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Rector's Messages

Message Archive


Easter 2004


"For anyone united in Christ, there is a new creation" II Corinthians 5:17 (R.E.B.)


Lent may indeed mean spring; but in our part of the world, the Lenten experience remains largely a winter one. This certainly seemed to be true this year with Lent beginning the week following the blizzard or weather bomb of 2004. Behind the neighborhood in which I grew up there was a fairly large marsh. The marsh would freeze in years when there was flooding from early winter rain. It was possible to skate and play hockey on the marsh; but there was something seemingly unusual about that frozen state of affairs. Later in life, I would learn a word that fit perfectly the experience standing on the middle of the marsh in winter time--the word "surreal". The quiet and almost motionless state of the marsh in winter was beyond real. The air bubbles in the clear ice gave the impression that most of the life of the wet land was on hold. What a contrast this presented to the usual vitality of the marsh with its waving green and brown bulrushes or cattails. The marsh was home to frogs, birds, and a variety of insects. At night a chorus of peeping sounds arose from the marsh, sometimes accompanied by a light fog drifting up out of the ooze. There was no real accounting for spring until the life signs returned to the marsh.


The surreal moments of life seem to place everything seems on hold. The breath of life itself appears captured by some unseen force. The fragility of peace and the prevalence of violence in the world , the loss of focus and the presence of discord in community, the death of a loved one and the experience of grief, each of these can create in us a sense that time and circumstance has slipped beyond what is real. Life, as a normal course of affairs, seems unable to come to fruition.


St. Paul proclaimed to the people of Corinth, " Christ, there is a new creation". The Easter faith is one which offers the promise to transform each and every aspect of our life --personal, communal, and social. Christ's resurrection is the sign of an offer of new life in all its fullness. The truth about Easter is a truth about being ground in the reality and reliability of God's love for the whole created order.


The Rev. Rod Gillis, Lent and Easter 2004