Easter is almost here and on behalf of our church team I wish you a very happy and holy Easter! Get set… Holy Week begins this Sunday!
Easter isn’t just about the one day and the Sunday. It is most fully experienced and appreciated when we journey all the way from this Sunday through to the next, going with Jesus from triumph, to intimacy, to betrayal, to death, to grief and confusion and finally to life. As we do this, we start to see that holiness isn’t static and that it is revealed in all of the different facets of life.
I am pleased to say that, unlike at Christmas, we are now able to accommodate those who want to go to multiple services during Holy Week. I would just gently remind those who are regular attenders in person that recording personal details is still mandated by the government. Registering before you turn up not only helps with your own discipline of putting aside time to intentionally focus on God, but also shows care and consideration for the staff and volunteers who are trying their hardest to manage the challenges of the times. So please book early and book often! It is a simple process that even I can do and yes even I have to do it every single time!
The word ‘holy’ is often only used on very special or sombre occasions but I think it’s a word we should use more often. In the church we use the word to describe who God is. It is basically everything good about God which we are trying to live out, day by day.
You don’t have to have a strong belief in God, or any belief in God for that matter, for holiness to make an impact in your life and the life of your friends and family. Of course, as a minister in the church, I won’t surprise you when I say that I actually think it is important to have a belief in God. In the same way much of our ‘Western World View’ has been influenced by many of the good things about the Christian faith, and I wonder whether holiness might become one of those things.
Over the last crazy year most people have reflected on what is important, what is special and what is sacred. One of the things that living through a pandemic has taught us is to value the things that matter the most and, to ensure that we pay attention to them, we need to give time for them and talk about them. These things are ‘holy’ to us.
The Easter story is the thing that matters most to the Christian Church. As much as we love Christmas, without what happens at Easter there is no Church – so for Christians this is the holiest time of the year. We see in Jesus, particularly in the way the bible tells us he died but came back to life again and is always with is, that there is always hope, there is always purpose and there is always the possibility of a new beginning.
I do hope over the Easter weekend you might get a chance to talk about holy things with your friends and family. I pray that it is a safe and happy time for you. I hope that you will join with us either online or physically (or maybe a combination of both) for our Holy Week journey together.
Happy and Holy Easter