Revd Pat's Ponderings and Prayers

Revd Pat Willson

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During these difficult times we are delighted that Revd Pat Willson, our Honorary Assistant Priest, will be sharing her thoughts and prayers with us here.


A "pondering" for Easter Monday

This Easter Sunday would have been unimaginable even a few short weeks ago. Not able to go to church, unable to meet with friends or family except by using technology, unable to give anyone a hug outside of our own household.

Now it is Monday, Easter is over. Normally, this would have been a Bank Holiday - time for people to take a breather from work and go out for the day to enjoy themselves, before everything would return to ‘normal’ on Tuesday. 

This year none of that is possible. Many people are no longer working and certainly not able to go out to a park or garden centre. I do hope people are observing the restrictions both for their own safety and that of others.

We salute and give thanks to those who are working to supply our needs and especially to those on the front line in the NHS. It is good that they are being recognised for their selfless devotion by the clapping on Thursday evenings at 8pm.

The first Sunday after Easter has been called "Low Sunday", so as to distinguish it from Easter Sunday, which has been called "High Sunday”. Clergy have explained that the title is supposedly because attendance is typically so low on the following Sunday in comparison to Easter Sunday.

But why should it be? Next Sunday Jesus is alive just as we were proclaiming it yesterday. Why stop as quickly as next week. Surely the fact that Jesus is alive should be proclaimed constantly and shown within our lives?

If during Lent, we have read our bibles more often, perhaps prayed more, why do we stop after Easter Day? If we celebrate Easter and then, apart from eating our remaining Easter eggs, carry on afterwards as if it has never happened, what does that say about our faith?

In these strange times, I’m sure if we were able to be in church next Sunday there would be a record attendance, not only here, but across the country. But for the moment, that is not to be.

Somehow, we have to continue to remain at home, to live a different sort of life. Perhaps we can indeed spend more time in prayer, to pray for those who are ill, for those who are dying, and for their families and friends. Giving thanks for those who are helping and caring for others, praying that God will supply the strength they need.

There will be others in distress, really upset about something, maybe an illness they are dealing with, something awful happening to them or to someone they love, let us remember them too.

Or perhaps, it is us, perhaps we have looked in distress and seen an empty tomb, something inexplicable happening around us or to us and all may seem lost. Perhaps then we too may have turned away from Jesus with our head bowed in distress. As Jesus stood by the tomb and spoke to Mary, Jesus is standing beside us, but we are often unable to see or recognise him. As he spoke lovingly to Mary, so Jesus speaks our own name and we can turn fully to him and receive his love and comfort. He will take us in his arms and carry us.

With eyes of faith, we can meet Jesus in what has become for us an ordinary everyday life in these extraordinary times.

Let us continue to proclaim the Easter message and look forward to the day we can return to our church and meet each other face to face once again.

Alleluia
Christ is Risen
He is Risen Indeed
Alleluia

Revd Pat (13/04/2020)

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A thought for 1st April 2020

It is April 1st, traditionally the day for playing practical jokes, often in the media.


One of the most well known April Fool spoofs happened back in 1957, when on April 1st, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were harvesting a record spaghetti crop. They even showed fake news footage of farmers pulling spaghetti from trees. At that time everyone took the BBC ‘terribly. terribly” seriously. They actually received lots of calls from viewers asking how to grow spaghetti trees!


To many people in Jesus’ day, those who followed Christ seemed foolish. Back then, being put to death on a Roman cross was reserved for the worst of criminals. Surely, no one in their right mind would believe that anything good could come from the crucifixion of their leader.


But that’s precisely what the early Christians boldly proclaimed. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “We preach Christ crucified...foolishness to the Gentiles......The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom”.
Even today, Christians who follow a crucified and risen Christ , can still perhaps appear odd and foolish.


Those of us who are Christians, are not foolishly attempting to grow a spaghetti tree. We know through our faith, the truth of the gospel, We can be assured that Jesus is with us always as he promised, by our side comforting, in front guiding, behind protecting, and as if that is not enough he is also within us with the presence of the Holy Spirit.


As Jesus said “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.” (Matt:7:24)

When we are able to recognise that something wonderful and powerful happened when Jesus died and rose from the dead that is not foolish at all.

As we move forward to a very different Easter Day this year, we can still proclaim that truth.

Meantime, keep safe and well, and let us continue to support each other by our prayers

Amen

Revd Pat (01/04/2020)


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