What a glorious Easter we had. Holy Week coming so soon after my arrival here with a lovely agape meal together with Communion on Maundy Thursday, a walk of witness and a beautiful time of reflection at the Cross on Good Friday rounded off with two lovely services at Christ Church on the Sunday. The weather was glorious too of course! It was great to see people of all ages coming to worship together; the children having fun with activities and hunting out goodies to be found and adults joining in with hearty singing or simply hearing the familiar words of the liturgy at the said service at 9am.
I spoke briefly to the children about how the disciples might have felt on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday – different feelings – of brokenness, emptiness and good things overflowing. One theme seemed to come through not only in that short chat with the children but in the sermon and also the prayers – that of emptiness. That mood can be particularly felt on Holy Saturday. Perhaps the Lord is speaking to each of us or to some of us about emptiness. Maybe that is something that you are experiencing now or have experienced before. Emptiness that leaves one feeling hollow and vulnerable; yet that feeling will not last forever – the Lord longs to fill each of us and we have that promise through the wonderful events of the resurrection because we have a hope and a future individually and as a church.
May each of us be filled anew with the Holy Spirit, the Comforter who longs to bring healing and peace to us all. Is the church suffering in any way? That I do not know as yet, my time here so far has been short. I am cheered by the culture of welcome and fellowship at Christ Church—the sharing of fun and laughter and refreshment after the services is heartening, relaxed and filled with warmth.
God calls us to bring our burdens to him, to confess and to repent – to turn away from sin and turn to Christ. Sometimes we have to take this on in a very deliberate way – choosing to love and forgive even if we don’t feel it. After all we have a Saviour who went to his death to conquer sin once and for all. We have a hope and a future and Jesus is waiting to fill us with his love, compassion and peace. May our emptiness be filled just as the emptiness of the tomb wasn’t a sign of sorrow but of joy!
As we continue to worship together over the coming months may we have faith in the resurrection and all that it means, discovering all that God has in store for us and the people of our parish.
Blessings of the risen Christ to you all,