So Easter is upon us. But the darkness of Good Friday has to be endured before the time of waiting and the anticipation of resurrection. This is always the Christian story. The ashes and the glory go together - a thought which makes looking back on where we have come from this Lenten season an important part of the continuing journey forward.
When the Soviet Union collapsed a small group of people suddenly became extremely rich. They acquired huge State industries at ridiculously low prices. The people referred to this process as "prikhvatizatsiya," or "grabification."
People who defend themselves by saying “My words were taken out of context” sometimes have a good point. It is possible to misrepresent someone, either deliberately or accidentally, by quoting their words out of context. However, a UKIP candidate in Portsmouth has stretched this defence to breaking point. He has also attempted some creative redefinitions of common English words.
"First gay clergyman to wed plunges Church into crisis: Archbishop under pressure to sack canon who flouted ban on same sex marriage", announced the Mail dramatically. "Church of England faces 'crisis' as gay priest weds" was the Telegraph headline.
David Cameron has spoken this week of his Christian faith and has gone on to make claims at Easter about a 'Christian country'. His sincerity has been widely questioned on Twitter, but it's not for me to judge him. God can see into Cameron's heart but I can't. However, the Prime Minister and I have very different understandings of Christianity.
Sculptor Anish Kapoor and writer Salman Rushdie are among those who have signed a letter to the Guardian warning that, if Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, “it would bode ill for India's future”. The chief minister of Gujarat belongs to the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
One of Britain's leading academic and policy experts on poverty and disadvantage, and how to combat them, has commended the new Spartacus Network Report, Beyond the Barriers which was produced wholly by disabled and sick people, and co-published by Ekklesia yesterday (9 April 2014).
This new report Beyond the Barriers: Employment Support Allowance, the Work Programme and recommendations for a new system of support, released by the Spartacus Network and co-published by Ekklesia and the Centre for Welfare Reform today, demonstrates that the policy status quo presents an unforgiving environment for thousands of disabled people across the UK, says its stinging conclusion.