Dear All,

Should you be reading this message before Easter Day then don’t say I didn’t tell you! The Clocks go forward an hour this Easter Weekend and, should you forget, you’ll be an hour late for the Easter services!

The world hasn’t always been governed by Time in the way it is now.  It wasn’t until the arrival of the railways in the mid-19th century that clocks in London, Bristol and Edinburgh needed (or could?) tell the same time: railway disasters could only be averted if every clock told the same time. Up till this point different parts of the country could get by with their ‘own’ time. Greenwich Mean Time was introduced by the Royal Navy as a shipping aid for navigation (to assist in the calculation of longitude and latitude) rather than as a means of synchronising watches between ships or countries. And as for the introduction of British Summer Time? Well, it is a thoroughly modern invention introduced in war time but found to be helpful for industry and so we lose an hour in the Spring and have it returned to us in the Autumn.

Easter brings about a huge shift in our understanding of Time. It had long been thought that the ‘kingdom of this world’ would give way at the end of time to the glorious arrival of the ‘kingdom of heaven or kingdom of God’ when all wrongs would be righted, the creation would be restored and God’s people redeemed. Easter changes this. Easter declares that the Kingdom of God has begun, it is here already – we don’t have to wait for it. The resurrection brings God’s love and forgiveness rushing forward into this world and into our lives. Yes, there is still much that is broken in our world (and in our lives) but the presence of the Kingdom – shown by God raising Jesus from Death – makes lives of openness, forgiveness, love, peace and joy possible as we respond to Him. Easter always catches us out with its reminder to reset the clocks of our spirits for, ready or not, ‘Now is eternal life.’