Jesus Christ is Risen.
He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!
1 Peter 2:2-10
This weekend we commemorate 75 years since victory was declared in Europe. At 11am on Friday in a moving two-minute silence we recalled that day which saw an end to six years of worldwide conflict; a war that was fought both at home and on the front lines. Peace when it came must have been a huge relief and cause for great celebration. But for most people life would not be the same again because so many lives had been lost, relationships torn apart and homes and industries destroyed. Life could not simply be picked up where it had been left back in 1939. There was a need to regroup, look to the future, reconstruct homes, businesses and relationships.
75 years later, perhaps, we face a similar challenge. Our lives and livelihoods having been torn apart, not by global war, but by disease and fear.
As we look towards easing ourselves out of lockdown, we may feel in many ways our world is not the same world which we left only a couple of months ago. In the immediate future, serious decisions will be made regarding our wellbeing, health and economy. On a more spiritual and emotional level there may also be profound questions asked about the deeper meaning of life. For example, how we may take this pivotal moment as an instrument for change and so discard the woes of yesterday in order to embrace a more positive and wholesome tomorrow.
But this takes courage! Our bible readings on this 5th Sunday of Easter speak of courage in the face of adversity. In the book of Acts, we have the account of the stoning of Stephen. As he faced his fate, he was filled with the glory of God, upheld by his faith and trust in God.
“But Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:55-56
In St John’s gospel Jesus is speaking passionately to his disciples as he prepares them for their ministries, knowing that his own time with them is running out. He needs them to understand the significance of his divinity – that he is from God. It is through him that God is truly revealed to us!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled” he tells them “Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1.
He then goes on to say “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
And so, we are called to pray. In the power of the Holy Spirit we must ask for an end to this crisis and a chance to rebuild our lives and our world in a better way.
Next week is Christian Aid Week. Normally we would be raising money by undertaking house to house collections and enjoying soup lunches. Alas, not this year! However, the charity still desperately needs our financial support. Several extremely poor areas of the world are suffering terribly from the virus and its ramifications.
There are several ways by which you can donate to support the work of Christian Aid.
- By internet. Go to www.caweek.org
- By telephone. Call 020 7523 2269
- By text. Text GIVE to 70040 to donate £5
- By post. Send a cheque to Christian Aid, 35 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RL. Please note that cheques will take longer to process than usual.
You can continue to donate to Christian Aid after the end of Christian Aid Week. Please also consider Gift Aid when making your donation.More information is available on the Christian Aid website.
Today the Eucharist for Sunday will be available at 11am online as it has been in recent weeks. You can access it on this link at that time. http://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship/ Alternatively, you can access it by going straight onto the Scottish Episcopal Church website.
I will look forward to joining you all again via You Tube on Thursday for our morning Eucharist. Please feel free to telephone me at any time.
My love and prayers to you all as always
Loving God, bless and receive all who are affected by Coronavirus:
Those who are sick and afraid
Those who are especially vulnerable
Those for whom home is not safe or available
Those who have lost their livelihoods
Those who have lost their lives
Those mourning for loved ones.