From the Rectory – April

Cornerstone, Stone Age, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Gallstones, Stonehenge and The Rolling Stones.  If you’re asked to think of a stone it’s far more likely that one of these will spring to mind rather than the much duller dictionary definition of ‘a hard solid non-metallic mineral matter of which rock is made’.

More than fifty years after it’s first broadcast, the Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom The Flintstones still regularly tops polls among viewers asked about their favourite cartoons. The juxtaposition of primitive technology into mid-twentieth century American suburbs was a ratings winner, although how stone tires on a stone car could get a puncture was never satisfactorily explained!

Whether it’s the main crux of an argument, an alchemist’s dream or a painful medical complaint, the use of ‘stone’ as part of a description often affixes a quality of strength and toughness to whatever it describes.

There is another stone that lies right at the heart of the story of the first Easter.

The bible tells us how following his arrest and sham trial, Jesus was crucified just outside Jerusalem, at a place called Golgotha, which in Aramaic means ‘the place of the skull’. His body was taken from down from where he’s been executed and laid in a tomb. In Matthew’s gospel, we read how a rich man from Arimathea arranged for a large stone to be placed in front of the entrance to the tomb to seal it.

And there the stone stayed, until on the first Easter Sunday two of Jesus closest friends arrived at the place where he had been buried to find that it had been rolled away and Jesus body was gone. Over the course of the following days and weeks hundreds of people met Jesus, very much alive.

For Christians, Easter is the most important day of the year. Yes, we remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas, and rightly so. But on Easter Sunday, which one songwriter has described as ‘the greatest day in history’, we celebrate the amazing resurrection of Jesus. Death is no longer something set in stone.

Happy Easter!

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