Easter Season

"May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future"

Her Majesty the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth, in her address to the nation on Easter Saturday, reminding us of the living hope we have in Jesus Christ.
As we gather around a source of light that unites us, Queen Elizabeth ended with words of comfort to those facing the hardest of times and to us all in this season...
'The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this. We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be - particularly for those suffering with grief - light and life are greater.' 

We are now into our second block of a three week lockdown, and the novelty - if there was ever was any - has worn off; the adrenaline that fuels response to crisis is running low; and we are beginning to experience the reality that this will be a long haul. More than that, it is a long haul with an uncertain finish date and an unknown outcome.
Our church School remains closed except for a few children of Key workers, and the playground seems eerily silent.
Our church buildings are closed, following an instruction form our Archbishops of Canterbury and York, as we demonstrate our need to 'lockdown' too, and many are seeking new and creative ways to worship and pray.
I joined fellow clergy on Maundy Thursday for a virtual service with our Bishops via 'Zoom', which was a new concept to me...but as we travel on this uncertain journey, I have worshipped alongside Archbishop Justin, celebrating Easter from his Kitchen; FaceTime Live with Revd. Linda Blay offering Evening Prayer from her study; and you too can find a rich source of worship on line...local churches as mentioned, and from across the world. I thought the Popes Easter Address, translated for us by the BBC correspondent Martin Bashir, was both pastoral and hopeful in its content; again drawing us to the Christian hope of light.
Standing in a deserted St Peter's Basilica, the Pope began with the following...
"Like a new flame this good news springs up in the night: the night of a world already faced with epochal challenges and now oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family. In this night, the Church's voice rings out: 'Christ, my hope, has arisen!'".
My prayers continue daily for all facing darkness, and asking the Lord to take away fear and anxiety; offer protection for those working in our NHS and Key workers; for those who are 'Sheilding'; and for the many facing financial hardships during this crisis; recalling the light and hope of Christ...these days will pass, we will gather again as communities, and rejoicing will fill the air. Easter Blessings, Julia ><>

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