We had a special time meeting together today, not least in seeing old friends – Tessa and Richard – and seeing Jeremy and Sue since the death of his mum last week. Sharing together was very poignant and touching.
Steve led today with the message ‘The church buildings may be empty – but so is Jesus’ tomb!’ which he had seen on Facebook this week. Consequently, the theme of bad news, good news emerged. We started with a reading of John 20:10-16 and then Steve listed some of his bad and good news:
1. After 6 months of rain and gloom – we have a prolonged dry sunlit spell
2. After years of Brexit obsession – we have some relief
3. After years of increasing air pollution – a clearing of the atmosphere
4. After years of manic, stressful, life-limiting, frenzied activity for many – we have a chance for reflection, meditation, prayer, perspective re-arranging quietness
5. After years of not having enough time to do – we have plenty of time to be creative, crafty, artistic, musical. Gardens have never looked so good. Humour never appreciated so much. 50,000 words…
6. After years of the triumph of individualism – we now realise the importance of connectedness and community.
7. After years of lording, the kings and queens of capitalism, the lords and ladies of celeb-world, realise that it’s the nurses who matter the most…
We have been invited to create a couple of our own for Wednesday’s gathering.
We shared our prayer concerns at length and Steve reminded us: For Christians, we are a people who meet at the transaction point between our horizontal reality, this world, and the vertical reality, of God. We call this the crossing place or the Cross – through Jesus, all human imposed barriers to God’s presence are dismantled. It is the place where true perspective can be found; the place where we meet Truth: about ourselves and about reality herself.
He followed this with words from the St Hilda community:
before your god
let your god look upon you
that is all
he loves you with an enormous love
she only wants to look upon you with her love
Then candles were lit as we named all those mentioned – adding to a tableau set up on one of the zoom screens.
We used again the Emerging Creed that we have used before and are no longer sure of its origins!
We are people who…
Have found Jesus to be beyond compare
Invite all to join us without insisting they become like us
Find more reality in the searching and questioning than in certainty and absolutes
Realise that how we treat others is the greatest test and expression of what we believe
Firmly believe in the equality of men and women, that no-one is greater than another and that all people bear God’s image
Recognise that following Jesus is costly and we need to support each other in the work we feel called to do, being peacemakers, striving for justice, befriending the lonely, healing the sick, serving the hungry and destitute, visiting the sick and the elderly, inspiring children and young people, caring for God’s creation…
We used our Companions liturgy to share bread and wine together and finished with a blessing written by Steve, influenced by Grayden’s reflection last week:
At the end of time, when preparation for judgement is imminent, an angel will approach each person in the line and ask, “Where are your scars?” And if you reply, “I have no scars,” she might say, “Why not? Was there nothing worth fighting for down there? What did Jesus make whole within you through his sacrifice? Jesus bears his scars still – in his risen body. And so must you.”
May we allow Jesus to transform all our wounds and our wrongdoings, our hurts and our flaws into something perfectly and idiosyncratically us.
May we live Jesus’ resurrection today – no more past regret nor present fear – we live replete in faith and hope and love.
And may the Shalom blessing of the Triune God be on YOU!
And then we chatted and heard more from one another and discovered the unique joy of being the body of Christ again. Thank you to everyone for being who you are and with us today.