Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is risen! Alleluja!

Today, on Easter Sunday, we heard one of my favourite Bible passages.
Mary Magdalen meets the resurrected Christ.
I love the tenderness and intimacy of this encounter.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.
They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ 

When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’

Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher).
Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her."
(Luke 20:11-18)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Saturday

Today is Easter Saturday, also referred to as Holy Saturday, Easter Eve, Black Saturday, Bright Saturday or Joyous Saturday.

Interesting to read some of those positive attributes, because it must have been anything but a joyous day for Jesus' followers.
I can only begin to imagine the loss, despair and hopelessness they must have felt with their leader and master, the one they had trusted in and who had given them hope and comfort, gone!

Knowing how the story panned out, it seems easy for us today to sit out today to make it to Easter Sunday. For his disciples and followers it must have been heart-breaking. How could they know that only in a short while they would receive new hope and joy? How could they know that with the Holy Spirit they would rise to new heights and abilities?

I am thinking about the things which lead me to feeling held back and hopeless. The things I feel I cannot
overcome and conquer. 
I pray that I will rise above them and be empowered to be much more than I ever imagined to be. That with God's Spirit I will rise to new heights. That I will not allow fear and hopelessness to imprison me any longer. I pray for a new freedom, a new peace, a new power.
Here I am Lord. Fill me with your spirit and lead me.

"Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished."
(1 Chronicles 28:20)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Week

Holy Week is upon us. Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day when Christians remember the cruel death of Jesus.

I have been very busy this week with making Easter crafts for sale. Today was my deadline. Enough. It is finished!
Time to meditate on the final days of Jesus and to let it sink in.

I am looking forward to the Walk of Witness in our town tomorrow, and the Midnight Vigil on Saturday night.

May you experience something of God this Easter weekend. May you find him in the emerging spring flowers, the freezing snow, the joy of chocolate or the suffering of Jesus. You never know where God may show himself!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Songs of Praise and Justin Welby

Songs of Praise from Canterbury on Palm Sunday, with interview with Justin Welby, newly installed Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


After my post about our chickens, here's one about the first eggs. After 6 weeks they have finally started laying.
No further comment needed! :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Love of God

Today is Mothering Sunday - the day when traditionally domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was a day to return to one's own family and church and spend time with them.

As it happens, today is another significant anniversary for me - 10 years ago on this day I became a committed Christian.

I had a Roman Catholic upbringing, so Christianity was not new to me.
As a teenager I had drifted away from the Christian faith. Not completely. I don't think I ever stopped believing in God. I went to church occasionally - either because it was a special festival or because I felt the need.

As I grew older and life threw more and more responsibilities on me, I became aware of searching for something greater than myself out there; something to draw strength and hope and courage from.
I did not really consider the Christian faith, because as far as I was aware I had 'been there' and 'tried that' ...

So I looked into other religions and dabbled a bit here and there.

Then one late evening, after a rotten day and when I felt very critical of myself and very unlovable, I sat at the table in my kitchen and out of the blue felt a voice speak to me. The voice said simply "I love you".
In my state of self-loathing I did not accept that.
Strangely I felt sure to know who the voice belonged to, because I addressed him in my reply: "Don't tell me you love me, Jesus, I don't believe you!"

I have often wondered about my reply.
Of course Jesus had played a part in my Catholic upbringing. I was taught that he was the Son of God who had died on the cross for our sins ... but somehow I did not remember him to have been described to me as the intercessor to call upon in our need (perhaps this is more common in Protestant denominations?).
I feel even now that if this had been my own mind creating somebody to give me comfort and solace, it would have been an angel or a saint, or even my deceased father or grandfather ... but not Jesus.

Back then, it took me a while before I truly believed that God loves me.
But eventually I drew the following conclusions from my experience:

  1. Jesus is real
  2. He lives here and now. (Which means he was not just a human being 2000 years ago, but he is divine and eternal)
  3. God loves me and knows me and is interested in me - so much so that he will meet me in my own kitchen and tell me so
This has put me fairly and squarely back in the Christian faith. After 10 years I still look back at this event and know that it really changed my life!

Jesus loves me. And you too!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Watch the little things ... and be thankful

Today's 40 acts challenge is prompting  me to be thankful.

Easier said than done, when somehow the things that don't go well seem to be so much more noticeable and the things that do go well are taken for granted.

I am reminded to become much more aware of situations, people and blessings around me, to take note and to give thanks.

To say thanks to people but also to God. I am reminded that my Muslim friends thank God much more readily by using the expression  "Alhamdulillah" (Praise/thanks be to God) on a daily basis.
May I become a praiser of God!