Reflection, Easter Sunday Evening

 

Easter Sunday evening, and the first week of Easter are usually odd times for those of us who have taken Lent seriously, and followed Holy Week with a sense of devotion and commitment. We often find ourselves feeling slightly empty and at a loss as to what we are to do next. There has been a build up and climax, and although we know exactly what is coming, the Easter celebrations including excitement and chatter, along with the breaking of fasts of many and various kinds, leaves a slightly hollow feeling afterwards. So what do we do now?

 

In usual times we look forward to many different minor festivals, along with the social whirl that starts with late spring and summer. It’s not quite like that this year, with many events having been cancelled, and for some, there is an eerie sense of worry and dread about how life will be in the future. There may be financial complications and for others who have lost family members and friends, life will be sadder, and emptier.

 

Easter is of course about the Resurrection, but after the initial euphoria, there follows the question of’ ‘what happens now?’ To put it another way, ‘why did Jesus come back to life?’ This year we are following the Gospel of Matthew, and as most of you remember, the theme of the Gospel is the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom could be thought of as a community. Jesus came to establish new life, not so much for us as individuals, but for us as a community.  Communities have various purposes and functions. These include worship, healing and proclamation of the Kingdom. We have already covered something of this in our teaching at the beginning of the year, and as we proceed we will learn more, and begin to put this into practice.

 

The first thing to say is that whatever lies ahead, we are not alone. We have already seen a remarkable flourishing of community spirit in Cleobury as voluntary and community groups have come together so that we look after each other. At Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.  We acknowledge and delight that there is something of God in each of us. All of us are not called to do anything beyond our capabilities. Our mission, as individuals and a community, is to respond to the call to love and to be compassionate within the world around us, as well as to each other. This call is to those things within each of us, which is good, pure, kind, and of the spirit. As we respond to that call, we can be confident that those things of God will grow within us, and those things of God in those around us, will also grow. We won’t always get it right- sometimes, we might fail, but if we try to live well (in the best sense of the word) then we will flourish, both as individuals and as communities.

 

May all of you experience something of the life of Christ within your hearts, and your homes, as we settle back in to everyday and ‘normal’ life. Although the clergy can’t be with you in one sense, you can talk to any of us by phone, text or email. We intend that Evening Prayer keeps going by Zoom (at 6pm), which any of you are free to join. If you want to take part, you will need to contact me (martinsquayle@icloud.com) to get a link, and we hope to keep it going each day whilst the crisis lasts.  Be assured of the love of Christ, and that you are thought of and prayed for daily.

 

On behalf of the clergy.

 

Martin