Our church year starts with the promise that Jesus will return (Advent) and then the joyful celebration of Christmas that God is with us. Learning to live in this amazing promise of Divine accompaniment is something that we gradually undertake throughout our lives. When life is smooth and assured, when life is plentiful and joyful, it is easy to claim the reward and blessing for ourselves, and forget that God is rejoicing too. In the moments of intense sorrow, struggle, pain, and anger, we are quick to bear the burden ourselves forgetting that when we weep, God weeps too (John 11:35) and when we are frustrated, God is frustrated too (Matthew 21:12).
Sharing these moments of sorrow and joy with God is a fundamental expression of our walk with Jesus Christ, and essential to our discipleship. This year during Holy Week and Easter we are asked to pause and reflect on God’s presence in our lives, and consider what we might learn through the events of this week. Over the course of the next few days we will consider the events of Holy Week through our five senses to help us experience God through our own humaness and intimacy.
I invite you to slow down, to pause and rest while we reflect on the events of that most Holy Week. Consider what Jesus underwent in order that the joy of Easter morn would echo in your soul, heart, body and mind.
This booklet outlines the services in our three parishes and makes suggestions for daily reflections at home. The week will begin with our Palm Sunday service. Evening worship for Monday through to Wednesday will be a time of contemplation and corporate reflection; on Maundy Thursday we will mark the last supper with a quiet reflective said Communion service, including anointing with oil; and on Good Friday we keep the last hour at the Cross, a time to reflect on Christ’s final act before his death. On Easter day we will mark the resurrection and the joy of Easter in all of our three parishes.
We hope this Holy Week and Easter will be a moving and blessed experience for you, and pray that you will be able to engage with this earth shattering story in a way that enlivens you and blesses you. May God bless you this week and may his peace dwell richly in your hearts and minds this Eastertide and always.
Revd Jeremy Putnam