Jesus Christ is Risen.
He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!
1 Peter 3:13-22
It is said incidents often occur in threes. In this vein during the lockdown, to date, I have managed to drop and break one projector, one laptop and an ipad. The latter having met its end falling in the bath! This is not a record I am proud of, but I have always had a reputation for being rather clumsy.
I my defence, I am blaming the lockdown! However, whilst my misfortunes can be replaced or repaired many other disasters from the recent crisis cannot be so easily restored. Many jobs, livelihoods, relationships and lives themselves have been lost or seriously compromised. As we begin to emerge from lockdown, the spirit of solidarity that held the country together so well at the start of the crisis is already beginning to splinter as opinions of how the lessening of restrictions should be managed differ so significantly.
Our gospel this week again comes from St John’s gospel. We once again read the words of Christ’s passionate discourse with his disciples shortly before his crucifixion. In his ministry Jesus experienced much challenge and opposition from various quarters. He knew what it was like to persevere in the face of adversity and he knew he was to face suffering on the cross. It is in this context he speaks to his disciples and his message is one of love. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Jn 13:34
Love, which comes in many forms, is the glue that holds humanity together. Without it we flounder and perish. But love can be tough and not always sustainable, especially in times of stress and hardship. Jesus understands this and so he goes on to say “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever…… I will not leave you orphaned” Jn 14:16
This is an enormously encouraging thought because an advocate is someone who encourages and reassures. The advocate in this context means divine assistance. This is something we all need, and particularly now. So, let us pray for the power of God’s Holy Spirit to help us through this crisis.
This week is Christian Aid Week. Normally we would raise money by undertaking house to house collections and enjoying soup lunches. But 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 YouTube on Thursday for our morning Eucharist for Ascension Day. 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.