Services

Sunday Services

8.00 Eucharist

10.00 The Parish Eucharist

10.00 Junior Church

18.30 Evening Prayer

19.00 Benediction

Weekday Eucharists

Tuesday 10.00

Wednesday 19.00

Thursday 10.00

Friday 12.30

Saturday 18.00

Contact Details
Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3JG.
01823 354800
Facebook:  Holy Trinity Taunton
Photos
Tuesday
Apr232019

Fr Julian writes...

I guess few of us have not seen the picture of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris, following the disastrous fire on April 16th.  It is of a debris-strewn nave, yet miraculously the cross at the east end shines over and above all else.The national outpouring of grief over the nationally iconic building, has been tempered by the hundreds of millions of Euros pledged within 48 hours of the fire, and President Macron’s commitment to restore the building to even greater glory within 5 years, to coincide with the Olympics to be held in Paris in 2024.

One can only imagine the desolation and the sense of loss in both physical and spiritual terms to the French.  Yet one thing literally stands out amidst the debris of the building and the worship it encompassed.  The Cross.

We are celebrating Easter, which demonstrates the victory of the Cross.  We have followed Jesus along the Via Dolorosa, the Road of Sorrows, as he was led as a condemned felon from the Praetorium to that green hill beyond the city walls.  We have stood at the foot of the cross and seen its immediate effect – death.  We have seen it empty as the lifeless body of Jesus is placed in the tomb.  We have seen it as the symbol of death, the physical death of Jesus.  Yet we celebrate and rejoice in anther empty and open object – the tomb, for Jesus has risen!  The cross has been transformed from a symbol of death to one of life; from one of despair to one of hope.  In the same way the brutal cross of Good Friday at Holy Trinity has been transformed into the tree of life, bursting with the joy of Easter, beautifully adorned with lilies kindly given in memory of loved ones.

For many, many people, the cross continues to portray failure.  For people like Judas who betrayed Jesus, it was the death of the dream of a nationalistic uprising with Jesus as its head.  For the women and the disciples, it was the death of hope for a better life, a better world.

Yet on the third day, the tomb was found to empty and the risen Jesus appeared to his followers, in a renewed life which was recognisable as his earthly life, but going beyond that to a life which wasn’t constrained by the limits of the flesh, even death.  Because death has been defeated on the Cross, and the risen life of Christ grows from it.  The tree of shame has become the tree of glory, and where life was lost so life has been restored.

This is good news – to put it mildly!  In the tangled debris of our lives, the Cross stands out, as a mute witness to the victory of Christ and as a symbol of hope.  Although everything else may fail or be destroyed and damaged, the Cross stands proudly in the midst, sowing that God isn’t absent in chaos, but is present, and, like the Cross, just waiting to be seen and acknowledged.

This was, after all, the purpose of the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus.  Among the gifts of the Magi was myrrh, to indicate his suffering and death.  Jesus rejected all possible shortcuts to salvation, such as those we might succumb to, and instead remained faithful, even in the Agony in the Garden, where he finally and completely submitted to his Father’s will.  And the Cross was the vehicle, the means, of his winning salvation for us.  But it was not his death, but his resurrection that achieved this.

As Christians, we can dare to see the Cross portraying victory, not failure.  In it lies our life, our hope and our resurrection.  As the Cross stands undefeated in the ruins of Notre Dame, so it stands undefeated in any collapse of our hopes and circumstances.  When our disasters happen, as they do to each of us, it is not that God is absent, but because he is in the depths of the debris, yet can never be buried, but will always shine forth.  When we might think he’s the furthest away from us, perhaps that is when he is nearest, only we can’t see.  It is only when we stand back and look, that we can see the Cross, like Jesus, with its arms outstretched to embrace us, to hold us, to save us.

Have a very happy and blessed Easter.