Hallelujah! Christ is risen - he is risen indeed!
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:26-28 (ESV)
With Eastertide, a new season has begun and I am hopeful for a mild summer, with dry(!) Sunday mornings as we learn how to worship together again in-person in our lovely, new 'canopy church'. Easter Sunday was so beautiful, but you were not alone if you felt a little emotionally wrung out at the end. Suddenly being amongst so many people, so close, so many words and sounds, felt like jumping off a waterfall: scary and exciting. I trust our time of worship was both beautiful, life-giving and hope-filled for you, even if you felt the impact of being so visually or aurally stimulated afterwards! Feedback welcome (especially if you have solutions to any problems you observed!).
After the long subdued, somewhat monochrome nature of Lent it is so wonderful to emerge into the equally long, but multicoloured season of Eastertide! Coupled with spring and people rapidly being vaccinated you can almost smell hope in the air.
But even as we transition so quickly to this next season, can I encourage you to take one more, hard look at these past six weeks? What can you remember from Lent and Holy Week? Did God speak to you in a new way? Did you find a new or deeper understanding of some aspect of your faith? Did God seem close or distant? What about your view of your neighbors or colleagues? Did that shift at all through the weeks of fasting, new disciplines or ‘lessening’? I have always appreciated that we are told about Thomas needing to touch Jesus - in order to remember. Sometimes we have to have tangible reminders of where we have been.
It can be tempting to rush past these more challenging seasons: but I invite you to take stock, and if you have thoughts you could share, why not write us a blog? Or at least make sure you journal about them for yourself…. And perhaps, you might want to draw, write or compose a poem about re-gathering as well..? If you do, please share with us!
In other news:
- Hmmm, the forecast for Sunday looks a little unsettled - remember, at noon on Saturday we will make the Sunday worship decision: Canopy or chapel/zoom again. Pray those clouds away :)
- Prayer at the cross in person is back! It will be taking place in the Chapel every Sunday - simply make your way inside and take your turn.
- While you are thinking about prayer: are you praying we will find a new music team leader? Ask God to lead us to the right person!
- Finally, when you are next volunteering on a Sunday, you will notice the 'task descriptions' have all been updated. Please read them carefully!
OK - well done on reading all of that - now how about doing some journalling? See you on Sunday!
Love to you all,