Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope that all of you have received great interior joy as we contemplate the incomparable victory over evil that has been won for us all and focussed on particularly every year as Lent and Holy Week resolve into the thanksgiving of Easter.

On the earth that joy is mixed with the particular burdens of whatever our ordinary life is experiencing, such as, for instance, the sickness or even death of someone we can be said to have loved. This sort of “love” can be that of ordinary friendship or of high regard, or indeed that of a family relationship like a parent or a spouse. It is good for those carrying some measure of such a burden to join, still, in the celebration of the incomparable victory of Jesus.

The Collect for the 1st Sunday after Easter runs as follows:

Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification: Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may alway serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We are reminded in the prayer (to put away the “leaven” of malice and wickedness which puffs us up in falsity, in order to serve the Father in “pureness of living and truth”) that such a request draws upon the incomparable gift to us of the Heavenly Father’s only Son, in His dying “for our sins” and His rising again “for our justification”. There was a divine cost incurred by the benefits to us of the New Covenant. Yet in the completion of the work of the Divine “Suffering Servant”, that we too may have our sins cancelled and be made whole, His own suffering is changed into a resurrection of joy.

Those of us too who contemplate a General Election next week are given this prayer - a prayer for the power to “put away” those things that are corrupt and wicked in our communal life in exchange for purity and truth in the common square - and an assurance of the grace that the Lord avails us for such a prayer to be given the divine “Yes”.

For directions about the services this Sunday the 11th April, please see the website .

In the most gracious and holy Name of the Lord Jesus,

Bishop Nicholas