About this time last year I sat in St Asaph Cathedral listening to a concert by St Asaph Choral Society. As I sat in the main nave of the Cathedral I glanced to the South Transept, the small Chapel to my right and something made me pause. On the small altar in the South Transept there is a cross and as the sun was setting the light was reflected behind the cross causing a perfect reflection which surrounded the cross with light. The setting sun was shining through a cross shaped window at the far end of the Cathedral and the light had travelled the whole length of the building to make this perfect shape. It only lit the background of the cross, not the candles, or the altar, just the cross. It was more than a trick of the light, it spoke of the light in the darkness, and struck me very poignantly particularly as come into the Light of Christ after the dark events of Holy Week.
The Cross lies at the very heart of the Christian faith, for without the cross there would be no Easter Morning, no Resurrection. We can sometimes take the cross for granted, use it for decoration, make it presentable with candles and flowers, yet the cross is not an easy object to gaze upon, but an instrument of pain and torture has become for us a symbol of love and sacrifice. Many people wear a cross as a necklace or pin-badge, they may carry a cross in your pocket with the lovely poem, for following Easter Sunday the cross becomes a symbol of light and hope.
The wonderful hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross was written by Isaac Watts but it is said that Charles Wesley, the writer of hundreds of our favourite hymns, would gladly have given all the hymns he had written to have written those wonderful words. The words of the hymn convey all the sentiments that we could ever wish to convey. Yet they are not sentimental but challenging. ‘Demands my soul my life my all’ can never just be sweet and sugary words.
‘Love so amazing, so divine’ Easter is a joyous time, a time of hope and promise. May the joy of Easter morning and the Light of Christ bring you peace and joy this Eastertide and always.