Hi everyone. I hope that you are all doing well. We are all having to get used to a completely different way of living, relating and worshipping. This can be very disconcerting and takes a while to adjust to.
Back in February I was given a calendar of paintings by a prophetic painter and evangelist called Chris Duffet. The painting for April is called; “Unknown Path”. If you click on this link you can see it and read a little about it - https://chrisduffettart.com/products/dsc00423-2
This is what he says about the painting. “I had a picture of some dark woods, but with light at the end of the path. This painting carries a prayer to keep going. I feel the words of Jesus ‘do not fear’ as I look at the painting. The trees are silver birch, also known as Pioneer Trees. To Pioneer we need to take paths we simply haven’t walked before.”
This says so much about our own situation. We are all walking an unknown path, but God is with us. We are all learning that we have to do things a new way. even shopping has changed. We are having to rethink how we do church together. We are filming short talks and writing blogs, because we can no longer meet together. Tosin shared a short piece of film of and Anglican minister taking a taste of church to the community in London. The Church buildings are closed so the church has to go out.
We are all on unknown paths. We need navigation points. Last time I talked about the need to have a daily routine with a time with God at the beginning, middle and end of our days, with other activities like exercise, calling friends and creative ways to have fun. But I think that our weeks also need ordering. I am very fortunate in that I get to see other people most days via a video conferencing ap. On Monday evenings I hook up with my life group. On Tuesday I get together with the ukulele band and we play and pray together. Wednesday is free. Then on Thursday morning I catch up with the staff at church and in the evening I see the elders and leaders. Friday is usually shopping in the morning and I hook up with another life group in the afternoon. Saturday I take some time to catch up with family and friends on the phone. We need to develop new weekly routines to help us on our way.
I am also trying to take this opportunity to take Sabbath rest on a Sunday. It is a time to take more time to do things that energise me and bring me closer to God. I miss our worship together but my husband Don and I try to have a small act of worship at home.
We try to start with the Sunday meditation of our Lectio 365 App. This then leads us into a worship song, (we are fortunate to have access to words and music.) Then we watch the EBC talk, pray and finish with another song. It is not the same, but it connects us to God and the rest of the church.
This is Holy Week. It usually starts for me on Thursday evening with our Agape meal that Eileen usually leads. We read again the story of the last supper and Gethsemane. We also share in a light supper together and communion. It is a really lovely way to start Easter. We will miss that very much this year. Perhaps you might like to mark this at home. Perhaps after your evening meal you could read an account of the Last Supper, (Mark 14: 12-50) then perhaps listen to a worship song. One of the most moving songs about Gethsemane was written by Leonard Cohen. This is a link to it being sung by the Webb Sisters. https://youtu.be/O_XcMAGZjuY but perhaps there are other songs that you could listen to.
Then it will be Good Friday. Although, as I have said, Friday is my shopping day, it won’t be this week. I have recorded a short talk for you to listen to that reflects on the parallels between Good Friday and today. Perhaps you could listen to a couple of worship songs before and after that might help you. here are a couple of suggestions, but I am sure that you will have others that are meaningful to you.
On Sunday, Simon will be celebrating Easter with a talk and the song in his heart for this day is; The Greatest Day in History -
I hope that despite our being apart that you will be able to celebrate the most significant Christian festival this year. Remember, stay safe and stay connected.
And finally… something to put a smile on your face. The children might enjoy this little video. https://youtu.be/IqzZB3xXmiw Keep washing those hands!