CYNTHIA BOURGEAULT’S The Meaning of Mary Magdalene has been such a gift to me this year; and so, more recently, has Jan Richardson, and her In the Sanctuary of Women, both of which books I’ve been revelling in, and recommending widely.

I’ve often spoken of my undying gratitude for something the late and great Archbishop Michael Ramsey said – I believe quite frequently – and once to me and a small group of doting ‘disciples’ gathered around him in my small rooms in Salisbury 30+ years ago: (Gleefully and with a slight stammer) “We’re the early Christians!”

How glad I’ve been to recall the truth and the depth of the archbishop’s wisdom! How glad to be a disciple alive today – 2000 years (only!) after Jesus and Mary Magdalene and their friends graced and anointed human encounters – glad to be alive in a wide world and in wide faith communities that are still being blessed, and still being graced, with new and ever deeper understandings of what it means to be fully human; to be anointed, to be loved, and graced, and held (even “after the Cross”) and sustained, and still learning.

And tonight I fell upon this achingly beautiful video produced and gifted to the world (thanks be to God) by Jan Richardson and her own “sweetheart” Garrison Doles. May it bless a wider and more humane humankind, and awaken new riches in all of us. May we know, and feel, and be thankful for, and above all understand, passiontide – Christ’s and all peoples’ passiontide – in new and personal ways. May we delight in the Love of the God who sees the deepest and truest beauty in us. May we know the fullness of the blessing of Life. May we hear Life say “Today: today you will be with me in paradise”.