Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter Sunday

We welcome this Easter day with blessings and prayers...

Love overcame
Emerging from a cold tomb
All the truth, majesty and creativity of a living God
Transforming a broken heart
Making a quiet return, in a still and sorrowful garden
The grave stone rolled away, to release redemptive love
Jesus resurrected and restored
Comforts a weeping woman
Speaks with travellers on a journey
Meets with his faithful friends
And they bow down before Christ alive
And acknowledged that the saviour has arrived
That the word of God has come alive
And that the extraordinary transformation of heaven and earth
Is complete

"Love Overcame" copyright © 2014 Julie Palmer

(Greg Tricker)


Easter Blessing

If you are looking
for a blessing,
do not linger
here.


Here
is only
emptiness,
a hollow,
a husk
where a blessing
used to be.


This blessing
was not content
in its confinement.


It could not abide
its isolation,
the unrelenting silence,
the pressing stench
of death.


So if it is
a blessing
that you seek,
open your own
mouth.


Fill your lungs
with the air
that this new
morning brings


and then
release it
with a cry.


Hear how the blessing
breaks forth
in your own voice


how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
to say.


See how the blessing
circles back again
wanting you to
repeat it
but louder


how it draws you
pulls you
sends you
to proclaim
its only word:


risen
risen
risen.

- Jan Richardson



"John’s telling of the Easter story has long had a powerful hold on my imagination. The encounter between Mary Magdalene and the risen Christ continues to coax me deeper into the mysteries of this day. I have written elsewhere about some of the things that strike me about their garden meeting, including how Mary has to decide whether she will try to cling to what she has known, or whether she will accept Jesus’ invitation to leave the garden and proclaim what she has seen this day. 
What I find myself pondering this time around, however, is what happens after Mary Magdalene leaves the garden. For her willingness to let go, to step into her new life, and to proclaim what she has seen, the Magdalene becomes known (at least in some quarters) as the “apostle to the apostles.”...

Whatever may have become of the Magdalene beyond Easter morning, John’s Gospel clearly tells us that it was to her that the risen Christ first revealed himself, and she was the one he called to carry the news that everything had changed.

On the threshold of this Easter morning, what is the good news that the risen Christ calls you to proclaim? 
Is there anything you need to release, in order to tell what you have seen?

On this day: blessings, blessings."



Saturday, 26 March 2016

DAY 40

And so love is unstoppable
even by death,
life is not destroyed
by having been through hell,
and light does not stay smothered
by the darkest of nights.
We are not people of fear anymore.
We know now how this story ends…”

- Cheryl Lawrie

This period of Lent ends here, on this Holy Saturday, for tomorrow we join in celebrating the resurrection on Easter Sunday! But until then, be content to sit a while in Holy Saturday and the time of unknowing...

(Roxolana Luczakowsky Armstrong)

Friday, 25 March 2016

DAY 39

Good Friday:

“...new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.” 
- Barbara Brown Taylor

(Ascent of the Blessed by Heironymus Bosch)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

DAY 38

"Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray with me"

El: This Taize chant, sung by the choir in the Cathedral during the Maundy Thursday vigil, was the first time I felt God speak with me since before the cancer.  My prayer had always been ‘stay with me’ and now it felt like Jesus was singing the same line back to me.  It felt like a duet.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

DAY 37

We pray for those for who today
Was like the darkest night:
Give them hope.”
- Sophie Piper


(The Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich)


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

DAY 36

“Remain in my love.”
 (John 15:9)

El: Focus on these words emerged through a silent retreat I went through. It’s part of a wider passage but focussing on these words seems so clear. It is a command.  Nothing more is required of us than to ‘remain in God’s love.’  
Here it is in full:As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.   My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12)

(Sorrento Cathedral)

Monday, 21 March 2016

DAY 35

“Others before you have found a way in the wilderness”
 - Barbara Brown Taylor

“You can get lost on your way home. You can get lost looking for love. You can get lost between jobs. You can get lost looking for God. However it happens, take heart. Others before you have found a way in the wilderness, where there are as many angels as there are wild beasts, and plenty of other lost people too. All it takes is one of them to find you. All it takes is you to find one of them. However it happens, you could do worse than to kneel down and ask a blessing, remembering how many knees have kissed this altar before you.”