Morning Prayer will be said in the Church on Fridays mornings
at 9.30 am every week. All are welcome to attend.
Life is full of surprises, don’t you think? Apart from the vagaries of the British weather, I recall the recent Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea and some surprises that happened there. First of all, there was the unexpected news of North Korea sending athletes to the games after the first talks between North and South Korea for 2 years. This continued with the further surprise of the two Korean countries fielding a combined team in the ice hockey event. Of course, there were the inevitable competitive upsets and unexpected surprise results too. You can list unlikely medal winners and red-hot favourites missing out and, surprisingly, quite a few dead heats measured down to the one-hundredth of a second over events that lasted minutes. And as if the bumps and roller-coaster rides of the winter sports were not enough, for the British speed skater medal contender, Elise Christie, there were the emotional surprises of qualifying, falling, being given another chance and finally being disqualified that shattered her Olympic dreams for a second time.
The celebration of Easter and remembering the events of Holy Week has its surprises and ups and downs too. The week starts with Jesus riding triumphantly into Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna. The emotions then yo-yo with the intimacy of the Passover feast shared between Jesus and his disciples contrasting with Jesus clearing out the money changers in the temple courts. Then there is the disciples, aghast that one among themselves would betray him giving way to them abandoning him at his trial and Peter, in particular, denying him. At the end of the week, it was probably many of the same people in the crowd now shouting, ‘Crucify him.’ Have a read for yourself and let the Gospel accounts surprise you afresh – especially if you haven’t read them recently. Mark, Chapter 11 is a good place to start.
But the biggest surprise is, of course, Jesus’ resurrection! We can be as surprised as the women arriving at the tomb that first Easter morning or the disciples encountering Jesus on the Emmaus road and on the beach. When, however, we get over the surprise of the resurrection and believe it for ourselves, we realise that it is our hope in the risen Jesus that steadies us in a world full of surprises, particularly when they are challenging and bring difficulties. May our belief and trust in the risen Jesus bring us not only joy this Easter season, but peace and hope in a world full of surprises. Happy Easter!