Dear Friends,

A week has flown by, and already after his boarding AA yesterday early afternoon here, we have a picture of our son Peter being met by his children in Berlin airport. They will be driving south home to Switzerland quite soon, hopefully after he gets a bit of r & r since he was on what the Americans call a “red-eye flight” from Miami.

While he was here he and his mother (I learned since he left) have plotted to provide me with a list of tasks to get done around the house, some of which I had already planned to do but with some add-ons as well. I’m wondering where he learned to do that, but that’s okay.

Having recently flown ourselves for a short flight to Jamaica and back and then having the experience of our son visiting us, we have seen how travelling has changed to involve not only testing requirements but also vaccination requirements that are added to the usual immigration requirements. All this has expanded the “office work” for travelling very considerably. In our case the immigration officials showed patience with us while we found everything that was required at every stage, but it is still all quite a bother and it is good to hope that with the current omicron strain and its sub-variants so far, these requirements will be relaxed as increasingly unnecessary. I am a bit concerned that the local reports of “cases” are only reporting them as coronavirus cases and missing out the highly significant facts of their much preferable variant than formerly. The inevitable question arises of who might actually be benefiting from a scared public. 

We must start holding our information-providers and other “leaders” to proper account. Could it be that the current extraordinary and seemingly completely irrational and cruel Chinese “lockdown” situation holds a very important warning lesson for us?

The Collect for the Second Sunday after Easter is

Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life: Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The prayer demonstrates two “benefits” of the gift of the Son of God. The first and primary benefit is that God has “given thine only Son” as a “sacrifice for sin”.  The secondary benefit is the witness given to us of “an ensample of godly life”. An “ensample” - an archaic word - means not quite the same as an “example”. While an “example” is an instance of a more general group of things, an “ensample” is a pattern or model of the things that are like it. So here, the Son of God provided in His whole life on earth a pattern or model of “godly life” that he calls us to follow in His brotherhood. We too are called to “follow" the Son of God in godliness of life. The gift of the Son provides two complementary benefits, the first benefit being primary and necessary to the second.

For directions about the services this Sunday the 1st May 2022, the Second Sunday after Easter, please see the website 

In faith in the holy Name of our Lord Jesus, who will continue to provide guidance by the Holy Spirit to all His people.

+ Nicholas