Weekly Update – 23rd April
This week I have been using a daily reflection resource provided freely online by St Augustine’s College of Theology. It is part of a series of prayer and meditation focussed over the coming weeks on the “Easter People”. Those in the Bible who are central to the events associated with the Resurrection.
This week the experience of Mary Magdalene at the tomb has been the focus. Specifically, the moment when she hears Jesus call her name after his resurrection. According to Matthew 28.8, Mary “hurried from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy”. The pain and sorrow that Mary had when she arrived there was then changed to joy by the presence of Jesus and her name being called by him. It is a similar theme in the other encounters the disciples had with Jesus after his resurrection. Their hearts too were filled with joy and wonder.
The season of Easter lasts 50 days (7 Sundays) and takes us to Pentecost. It is a season to be aware of the joy of faith. A period of joyful reflection in the promise that Jesus remains present with us if we just take time to be aware of his presence and our name being called as we head to Pentecost.
The Hub Team have been busy drafting the Parish Profile and are currently busy developing the vision and mission of our church here at St Nicholas from the feedback we have received from everyone.
Looking at the Canterbury Diocese website it seems there are a few parishes are like us – in an interregnum. One of these is the parish of Herne St Martin’s with St Peter’s Greenhill, following the recent retirement of their Vicar, Revd Carol Smith. Revd Carol has written the prayer below, which whilst mentioning specifically the parish of Herne, relates equally to our context. Just swap the names to those within our parish. The prayer helps us here at St Nicholas to keep aware of Jesus’ constant presence with us. Please keep in your prayers everyone here at St Nicholas, but also all at Herne and all congregations in our Diocese and nationwide who are in interregnum.
Dear God, grant us the strength and courage to remain mission-minded and mission-focussed as we continue to serve our congregations, [Herne Church Infant and Junior Schools, the Care Homes] in our parish and others in the expanding communities we serve, that all may know your loving purposes for this part of your Kingdom. In this Easter Season renew our awareness of Jesus’ resurrection life and what that means for us in real time.
In His Name we pray.