IS your word good? Does it hold true? Is your handshake a bond that has royal backing? Does your signature have meaning and measure? Is your life a promise well kept?

When a promise is made its value comes in the trust that is held around it; that's how bank notes function. Are we as sound as the Bank of England's promise to pay? Trust is a promise received and held; a belief in the commitment of the other.

Right now the whole land is aching with promise; the tangible hope of what is to come. You can feel it, smell it, taste it, see it and now we'll be able to touch it. We are passing the cusp of the new season; the season of growth and life and colour and vitality. We're not fully there yet, but the promise is in the ground and it is longing to burst forth. The ground is breaking; there is hope.

I love this hope; this promise that is made anew each year and realised each spring. Its sure and solid and, even despite the changes of global warming, comes afresh to us in its annual cycle. This is good news declared for all to see in life breaking forth from what has been dead earth.

As I put my bulbs in the ground they look as dead as can be, but that's not the whole story; the dried and dead skins hold the promise of a future.

There is no wonder the church chose spring as the time to celebrate Easter; the message is writ large in the flowers and trees and plants that push through stale ground and declare 'I am alive!' It is the perfect setting for the essence of gospel message.

But our lives don't always match the seasons; we can face mortality at any time of the year. The challenges of illness or circumstance don't just dissipate in the coming warmth of the sun. Sure, the sun's rays will make things feel a bit better; there will be a few more smiling faces, but it will not change the harsh realities for some.

The good news of who Christ is speak to these present realities. His life and death and life are a promise; a promise held that may or may not be realised just now. The Easter faith is that the promise will be realised; the word is trustworthy and sound; the price paid. This promise of hope - despite present realities - we can trust; the Word is good.

Have a great Easter.

The Rev David Macha

Priest-in-charge of Burnsall with Rylstone, and rector of Linton