Rev Chris’s Weekly Update – 24th April, 1st & 8th May
I do hope that you had a healthy and happy Easter. I’m going to be away for a little while so please note that there will be no update until mid-May, however the accompanying services and events information has details of all that is going on.
As we are now in the Easter season the bible passages that we come across give details of various resurrection encounters with Jesus. One of my favourites is from Luke’s gospel, chapter 24, and is whilst a couple of disciples are on a journey from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. As they walk a ‘stranger’ joins them and asks them what they are talking about on their journey.
They go on to tell him all that they have experienced in the last few days. As they reach Emmaus, they invite him to stay with them. At dinner the stranger takes bread, blesses, and breaks it and shares it with them before disappearing from their presence – it is at this point that the penny drops, and they realise that it is the risen Jesus they have encountered.
This encounter has inspired countless numbers of people across the ages in their ‘walk’ with Jesus. It speaks powerfully of Jesus present on our own very personal journeys through life, and yet it often takes time for the penny to drop – what causes that to happen may be different for each of us, and that may be a ‘process’ rather than a ‘moment’, but it is no less significant than it was for those followers on their Emmaus journey all those years ago, and as they expressed at the time in their moment of realisation;
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road”. Luke 24:32
One of the ways that we ‘encounter’ Jesus is through Holy Communion – the sharing of bread and wine to remember His body broken and His blood shed. The pandemic had a significant impact on how we have gone about the sharing of communion which has meant that, currently, only the ‘bread’ (wafers) is distributed. The Church of England has made it clear that receiving just the bread is still ‘full reception’. However, I have, for some time, been considering when and how to return to sharing the cup (chalice) of wine and have now come to a mind on how this will be taken forward.
As from Sunday 5th June (the Queen’s Jubilee) the chalice will be re-introduced. There are three options that communicants can choose from;
- Drink wine from the chalice as had been the case pre-pandemic.
- Take the wine by ‘intinction’ where the wafer given is dipped in the wine.
- Continue to receive just the wafer.
All of these are full and sufficient means of receiving Holy Communion and, hopefully, meet the needs of all concerned. This has been a difficult period in the life of the church, and we are working to make everything as normal as possible as we fully appreciate that communion is a significant place of encounter with Jesus.
Thank you for your patience and may your heart burn with desire to meet the risen Lord.