SHSK Thinks


March 2024

Lent and Easter 2024

Revd Dr Karen Hyde, School Chaplain

Unusually this year we didn’t pause to observe Ash Wednesday in school as it fell during the February half-term break. But we’ve still been busy preparing ourselves for the time of Jesus’ passion and resurrection as we’ve journeyed, in the Christian tradition, through a season of penitence and fasting towards the events of Holy Week and Easter.

As I write, the Sunday just past (17 March) is confusingly known as ‘the fifth Sunday in Lent’ or ‘the first Sunday in Passiontide’. Passiontide is the last two weeks of Lent, and perhaps even more confusingly we will celebrate Easter in school on Friday before the wider world reaches Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem at the weekend.

Beginning Passiontide, we ponder how in Jesus the double meaning of the word ‘passion’ is brought together: firstly, from the Latin ‘to suffer’, and secondly, ‘to have a love for something or someone’. Jesus suffers because God loves us, and through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, we see another dimension of God’s love.

God’s love for us is also seen through His creation (Psalm 119:64) and throughout the whole of Lent, we’ve been considering reflections, each from a different book (see images), that represent a variety of views held on creation care and climate change; and how these views motivate people to act, or not act, in the face of clear science which shows that climate change is having a negative impact on the lives of the plants, animals and (especially poorer) people on our planet. The materials used were from The John Ray Initiative – which connects Environment, Science and Christianity – and were written by Rich Clarkson (2023) and based on studies by Dena Burne (2002).

We explored how each one of us needs to understand why care for creation matters to us, and what it is that will motivate us to sustain God’s gift to us. Each week’s theme challenged us to consider how often we fail to put “love” into action, and a prayer tree was set up, in the corridor outside chapel, with activities to help us reflect and respond.

For our Easter service we will continue with the idea that God’s love for us is seen through His creation by using a Passionflower to help us move through Jesus’ last days and on to resurrection itself. Nature has marked the Genus Passiflora with the wounds of Christ’s suffering and as we journey through Passiontide, we CAN face the future with courage because we have a God who promises resurrection, even after all hope has been crucified. He is not there. He is risen. Alleluia!

Symbolism of the passion flower

Book references:

From Nature to Creation – The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it| Psalm 24:1

The Widening Circle – What are humans that you are mindful of them?| Psalm 8:4

Ask the Beasts -| Love your neighbour as yourself | Matthew 22:39​ 

Saying Yes to Life – Jesus is the image of the invisible God | Colossians 1:15

Saving Us – Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth | Matthew 5:5

Revd Dr Karen Hyde, School Chaplain

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