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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

On Easter Eve, Christians wait. The Lord has died. And we wait. We wait for the bright dawn of the resurrection. But we know it is coming. We live the right side of the resurrection.

And this Easter Eve there is so much waiting. The whole country is staying at home and waiting. A dear friend from church texts me almost every other day to check how long I think it will be until restrictions are lifted. She is finding the waiting very hard indeed. And waiting without knowing how long it will be is difficult, not knowing how long our lives will be restricted and different.

The first disciples were waiting. Their Lord had been crucified. They had no idea what would happen. Our waiting now gives us a taste of what they experienced. As Gretchen Ronnevik said today:

[Text on grey/orange sunrise] Maybe huddling together as a small group of disciples in a home, wondering what God is doing, and what will happen next, and where do we go from here... is the most Easter-y of all Easter things to do - Gretchen Ronnevik

And so we wait tonight for the resurrection dawn. Not in a small room with the doors locked. We are waiting here, in the Vicarage. We’re waiting in the living room and the kitchen and in the garden, looking over to the church and its clock, running late and still on Greenwich Mean Time. We wait. But we know it is coming. Jesus has risen, as he said.

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Today we baked. I made sourdough and hot cross buns – two lots because I accidentally made the first batch not vegan. A cross on the bread and crosses on the buns. Crosses for this most holy of days.

As the buns cooled, we held an online Zoom meeting with our dear brothers and sisters from church, meditating together on Jesus’ way to the cross and on his death, led gently by a few different church members. After the quiet of that time together, I went into the garden with my Bible and reread John’s account of the passion.

 

Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’

John 18v37

As this Easter passes, I want to hold onto that challenge from the Lord Jesus – to listen to his voice, to be of the truth, to hold onto the cross.

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We are approaching a strange and hard Easter. A strange and hard Holy Week. This collect from the Book of Common Prayer is preparing me for that – reminding me of the Father’s tender love, helping me to recall the great humility of the Lord Jesus and challenging me to be patient. These are what I need to meditate on this week. I need to meditate with gratitude on love, humility and patience.

[Black text on yellow starburst, photo of blackthorn blossom behind] ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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It was World Book Day yesterday. I think I always thought it was on a Friday because our primary school used to celebrate it on a Friday, and my Twitter timeline has been awash with stressed parents sourcing and/or making costumes all the way to last night. If you have googled this post desperately seeking inspiration, I have previously written on both easy solutions and also my most triumphant costuming ie the one I planned more than two days ahead.

But now my little munchkins are large lumpkins and World Book Day costumes are a thing of hideous joyous memory. But we still read books in the Vicarage, obvs. And to help that process, a few months ago I actually started a book club thing in our church.

I decided to start the book club when we took a break from the Church Society book review podcast I had been doing. And I found that (surprise, surprise!) without a deadline I was failing to read any Christian books at all. But the book club was also something I’d had on my heart for a long time and this seemed like a good point to get it going. I have scheduled six meetings a year – one towards the end of every half term. We meet on a Saturday morning for about an hour and I have provided fresh cinnamon rolls as an extra incentive. I decided to go for short(ish) books that people would hopefully read, rather than ‘classics’ or ‘important’ ones.

I have been aided enormously by 10ofThose and their extremely helpful book bundle scheme, which allows you to buy 20 books for £20. Not everyone in our church is a great reader, so the low cost encourages people to give books a go, even if they aren’t used to panic reading 200 pages the night before in anticipation of a podcast recording. And we’re now onto our third book since we began.

The first couple of meetings was just me and Dream, our Families and Community Worker, and the Joker. But last time numbers were up as we met to chat about Stand by Warren Wiersbe and we are praying that this trend will continue. But even if they don’t come to chat about them, people are definitely getting the books and are reading them. We’ve even found that people who’ve not actually read all of (or even any of) the book still enjoy coming to the brunch, not just because of the baking, but because a discussion about the Lord can only ever be a blessing.

For Lent I got a pack of The Forgotten Cross, which has a chapter for each week until Easter. You could even get it yourself and catch up with us. Perhaps you’re someone who is good at reading edifying books, but I’ve found that this discipline of a group has helped me.

Forgotten cross

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Nicholas is 10 years old and goes to my sister’s church. He made this brilliant stop animation video telling the Easter story. It will cheer your Easter Sunday evening. Guaranteed.

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And here’s the Easter spoken word video from Glen Scrivener, courtesy of 10ofThose. A wonderful reminder that Jesus is the Bread of Heaven who fully satisfies:

Our week of special events this Easter finishes with a Feast for All Nations – a celebration service followed by a meal of international food. We are praying that the whole week will help all our neighbours to know that:

This bread is sweet…

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Spotted this excellent Easter meditation yesterday, with the starting point of considering a Creme Egg (which I know that a good number of people will be doing over the next few weeks). Delivered by Dave Crofts of Christ Church Central in Sheffield. Think this might get a showing in one of our services before Easter.

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