Okay, before you starting scratching your head about the focus for this week’s blog, yes I know we are in the Easter Season and we have moved on from Lent. In other words, I’m not recycling an old blog 😉
I’ve spoken before about the Ministerial with which I have had the great pleasure to walk for seven years now. We are a group Sisters and Brothers from various denominations, who gather monthly for fellowship, sometimes solely to share stories and other times to study. This group has been – in many ways – one of the bright lights that shine the potential of what happens when we make community, which celebrates commonalities in our shared Christian hopes and dreams.
Well this last week, I had the opportunity to host our gathering. Coffee was made, cookies were shared and – as with any gathering that includes food – we shared a moment of prayer and thanksgiving. Which, as the host, I offered.
Now I have to admit something, if we have not shared space where I have offered prayer: I really do not plan prayer time (I think one of the big words for this is extemporaneous). The best way I can frame it is that I sort of act like a conduit to whatever it is that needs to be offered. Of course there’s the grounding in thanks, recognising privilege and the choices we get to make about helping the Other and ourselves to heal, but the clothing in which the prayer is dressed always surprises me and this time was no different.
Some of the wording during that prayer went something like this:
“Oh Holy One,
In a world stuck in Good Friday,
May we offer Hope
as your Easter People.”
And this experience, the use of that phrase, at that time, has been bouncing around in my head since then! I have had inner monologues, I have had pub discussions, and I have used poetry to try to further explore that we live “In a world stuck in Good Friday.” What does that mean?
For the Disciples on Good Friday it all ended – there was no hope. The one whom they loved, for whom they had sacrificed everything had been brutally murdered. These men and women weren’t me – if I’m honest. I’m more like one of those Pharisees who really liked Jesus’ challenges, but snuck around late at night to be with him so no one would notice. I’m one of those haves who heard the message, but still could not give everything up … the Disciples, however, had done that and now – as that bleak day drew nigh – Jesus was tortured, shamed, and hanging lifeless. There was no hope …
We live in a world of deficits, constant war, terrorism, unemployment, environmental degradations, politicians who seems to separate morality from leadership, melting glaciers, oil laden water and calving ice. We are barraged with a message of fear, loathing, judgement and satisfaction garnered by the acquisition of goods. And we do not need the mirror to spy into to know that something is amiss. But the illusion of Good Friday is spell-binding and all encompassing.
And yet, as those who have inherited a different message of abundance, of immense blessing and an invitation to walk toward awakening and wholeness, how do we share the Easter moment that is born anew every moment we perform a different action? How do we share we can become a different character? How do we model and offer something unexpected in a world of Good Friday?
- Perhaps this parallel – of the human world as grounded in a Good Friday story – does not surprise you.
- Perhaps Easter inspires you continually, not just the season in which we now walk as Christians.
- Perhaps what feels like an epiphany to me already encourages you.
For me there’s something new in this realisation,
- something that emboldens my steps since that prayer,
- something that allows the flutter in my being to step every so lightly and confidently as I walk into a new day.
I’m not sure what I’ve touched … but maybe sharing it with you might help me – us – further explore this place we occupy, in a world addicted to tragedy, we can act as light-bringers, as disciples, as an Easter people who see the clouds part and sun shine after a long winter of preparation …