Dear friends and parishioners,
As I write to you we are about the mark Palm Sunday and begin Holy Week, the culmination of Lent and the eager anticipation of Easter just around the corner.
This is one of my favourite times in the church year, a pivotal time as we remember Jesus final days on earth and rejoice at the gifts of the resurrection, forgiveness and eternal life, a whole new beginning granted to us by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
My godmother has recently given me an 1841 copy of Cruden’s Concordance (a dictionary and index of the Bible).
Alexander Cruden was born in Aberdeen in 1699 and hoped to become a clergyman though ill health prevented this.
However, he was a sound scholar, studying Latin, Greek and the Bible at Aberdeen University where he gained a Master of Arts degree. His love of the Bible along with his deep faith inspired him to produce his famous work. The first edition of the Concordance was published in 1737 and has never been out of print, it sits on many vicar’s bookshelf as an invaluable study aid.
As I thumb through the pages of Cruden’s Concordance and consider once more the Gospel accounts of Jesus final days on earth I am ever more deeply immersed in and moved by God’s grace. It is as though the Jesus speaks directly to me, offering me his forgiveness and assurance of future blessings despite the suffering surrounding him then and our world now. This is what God longs for each one of us to experience, a personal relationship with Him through Jesus, not a second-hand arms-length theoretical knowledge but an emotional connection that touches our hearts not just our minds.
As we move from Lent through Holy Week to Easter I pray that the past 40 days have been a spiritual blessing for you, that you feel closer to God and that have a deeper sense of Jesus as your personal saviour.
Prayers, blessings and good wishes