At last, the mornings are becoming lighter, and the evenings are drawing out.
The hope of spring is with us, with the summer on its way once again.
We in the Church are looking towards another kind of Sun. The Son of God, as we look to journey through Lent towards Easter.
If you wish for company on your journey, we will be gathering this year on Easter Sunday at Holy Cross,Thornfalcon for our Easter Sunrise Service, once gathered, we will set off to meet the sunrise at the top of the clump, at 6:30am as it is a little later this year. (6:48am)
We will warm back up around 8 a.m. with hot bacon rolls, toast, and a cuppa. Followed with a church Service of Holy Communion at 9:30 a.m. and an Easter egg hunt. You can join us for all or any part of that service, even just for a cuppa! Full details can be found by clicking here. I really hope you can join us. We, as Church, are very much in favour of community. We offer many opportunities to come together, from skittles evenings to a meal out, craft events to our Pop-up in the Old School Cottage. It has been widely accepted, that being part of a community is good for you.
As I am sure you would remember, last year I had the strong sense that God was telling me to stand firm. I was unclear of what that meant. As the year progressed, the concept of standing firm became clear, clear in my personal relationships as much as our church community. There were many times where standing firm in faith, as challenging as some of those times were, proved the right course of action. This year God has given me the following, words: “They’ll know that we are Christians by our love”. (Also the title of a great song.) Easter is the ultimate expression of love. Giving one’s life for others. I do pray that our expression of love needs not be so drastic. Then maybe it is about both being in service to others and receiving with grace the service from others. I am convinced that this kind of deep sacrificial love is what we are being called to offer our communities this year and I am confident that, if we listen, this will be revealed to us as the year goes by. One way we show the love of God to those around us is simply by being in community, one-with-each-other.
So, as you read this, I do hope and pray that you belong to a supportive, loving community with a Christian ethos of love, inclusion, and grace; of mutual support and respect, coming together in celebration of all that is good. Church, whether your local parish Church or our friends at the Baptist Church, are good places to begin. Church can offer strong community, support and yes, love. Church as I have written many times is far more than worship on a Sunday morning or a Tuesday evening. Church is about giving ourselves over to something bigger than us, for the greater good of our community and wider perhaps. That is, after all, why our own vision statement talks of serving our community without counting the cost. A bold and ambitious statement given the current climate, yet one we are doing our utmost to live out. All our Church members, and that will be many of you, give so much to their local church: time, money, energy and indeed love from the heart. I personally find this rewarding as a man of faith, and the reward is being confident that I too am a part of something that longs to bring something ‘other’ to the table. Other than, ‘it’s all about me’; Other than, ‘I can only love them if ...!’; Other than, ‘I am not valued’; Other than, ‘I am not loved!’
Easter is very much all about, ‘other!’ Christ came to show us and the whole world a different way of being human. A way of being human that’s based on love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. It’s that way of life us churchgoer’s, strive to live. We don’t always get it right and oftentimes mess it up completely.
It’s being part of that community thought that is the special part. We were not created to be alone, rather part of the pack! Maybe then you might wish to think more deeply about becoming a part of a community, maybe you already are.
Well, that’s enough from me right now, just leaves me to wish you all a very thoughtful Lent and a very Happy Easter, when it arrives.
With all Blessings