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Reform Magazine | August 6, 2021

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Editorial: Every ending is a beginning

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I’m not claiming to make a particularly original contribution to the world of spiritual reflection or literary imagination here, but I just stepped out the front door, and saw that yellow crocus buds had emerged through the frozen snow, and it filled me with an enormous sense of wellbeing. I might not be ground-breaking, but the flowers are, and that’ll do for me.

It reminded me of last year’s cherry blossom. We planted the cherry tree 18 years ago when Firstborn was a toddler – I have a photo of him ‘helping’ his grandad. As we went into lockdown last March, it came into full, beautiful bloom once again, and I found it a surprisingly comforting sight as I glanced at it now and again from my home desk. A new illness descends and new life rises. As might have been predicted, the blossom came down, and the cycle went on. Summer and winter. Grandparents and grandchildren. Work and play. A time to a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

As if to prove that time is indeed moving on, this issue of Reform is the last in which our editorial team included Charissa King. She has left after 12 years working with us, though she fitted more than 12 years’ work into that time. She wrote, commissioned and edited for the magazine, dealt with the multitude of practicalities involved in making it happen, and solved whatever problems you had with receiving it. You’ll see her last interview, ‘Higher goal’, on page 13. She leaves a huge hole here, but goes off to take on the universally admired and envied role of magazine editor. Since I’ve already established that I’m not ashamed to say what everyone else has already said, let me just add that every ending is a beginning. A time to get and a time to lose.

I’ve felt the cycle of the Christian year more than usual in the past 12 months. Those ancient seasons of waiting and wanting, Lent and Advent, have resonated with the situation we find ourselves in. The promises of coming birth and rebirth have chimed deeply. And this nags me again with the thought that the Christian faith has more in it, at any time, for the poor, the hungry, the grieving, the meek and the persecuted than it does for the rest of us. That promise and warning that the last shall be first. I am blessed indeed if I get to share some of it with them.

So, as promised, I have nothing to say that is not at least 2,000 years old. Have a good Lent, and a happy Easter.

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This article was published in the March 2021 edition of Reform

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