During lent we have a ‘Lenten cross’ in Sandylands Methodist Church. It begins as an empty cross and then each week an item is added to remind us of the journey Jesus took to the cross.

A bag of money symbolising his betrayal, bread and wine to remember the last supper, nails to remind us of his suffering on the cross and so on.

Then when we get to Easter Sunday we remove these symbols and cover the cross in flowers as a celebration of the resurrection.

It is tempting for all of us to want to move forward to the joy of Easter day and avoid the challenges of the suffering Jesus goes through in his journey to the cross.

Yet we need to find God in the journey to the cross as well as in the Easter garden.

The joy of the resurrection is made all the more wonderful when we consider the pain that leads up to it.

Its message is made all the more powerful when we remind ourselves that Jesus will be with us in the valleys as well as on the mountain tops.

Having reflected on the pain and suffering of Jesus’ journey this will make our Easter all the more special and significant.

Having remembered the suffering Jesus went through, we can be filled with celebration on Easter Sunday and lift high our flower covered cross with true joy.

Jesus, who shares our suffering and our joy, is alive!

Andrew Webb

Sandylands Methodist Church, Kendal