Set your mind on things that are above…


One of my favourite points in Holy week is the watch we keep in Catsfield Church, on Maundy Thursday.  One side of the church is decked out to look like a garden. Here we remember the difficult hours Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He struggled to come to terms with the coming trauma of the cross.  This year was no exception and the church looked beautiful with the flowers and candles surrounding Christ in His sacramental presence.


The numbers of those coming to take part in the watch were fantastic, so thank you to all of you who took the trouble to climb the hill in the dark.  There is always quite something special about praying late at night when you are aware that most of the world, at least in Catsfield and Crowhurst, has gone to bed.


This year the sky was cloudy, but it couldn’t stop the light of the moon breaking through.  It shouldn’t have been any surprise to me that the moon was out, because for all sorts of reason the date of Easter has long been fixed according to the timing of the Paschal Full Moon.  If you have a mathematical mind the Book of Common Prayer offers a table, at the front, to calculate the date of Easter up to 2199, according to the cycle of the moon.  My mind has always given way trying to understand it, so I prefer to buy a diary!


What goes on in the heavens has traditionally always been thought to have some bearing on what goes on here on earth.   Certainly it is true that the tides are controlled by the moon.   It has also been thought that signs above may indicate that something special is happening on earth.  For example the wise men would never have found their way to Bethlehem without the famous star to follow.


I was fascinated to read that a modern star-gazer has discovered that at the start of April 33AD, the most likely time for the crucifixion and resurrection that the planets were in the shape of a cross. The alignment includes Saturn as the ‘head’ of Jesus, complete with a crown of thorns formed by the famous rings, Jupiter and Uranus as the outstretched arms, and Earth and Venus representing his feet.

It may be a coincidence although it is very unusual for Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus to line up. Whatever you make of this it is a reminder that whilst we should make the most of the gift of life we shouldn’t fail to lift our eyes up beyond earthly concerns to God also.  As St Paul put it ‘If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above not on things that are on earth.’ (Colossians 3:1)


Father Michael


Posted By: valerie

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