Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
How have you been this week? Many of us are feeling the constraints of another 3 weeks of lockdown, aren’t we? It’s that longing to get into the familiar structures and routines, as well as having the freedom to make daily choices. Above all, to be with family and friends! There is a niggling feeling raising the question of what is it going to be like, and how misshapen the familiar might become!
So we journey with the early church, in its own adjustments. The early disciples must have experienced the dead ends and re-configuring our world is faced with. And, they must have felt frustration. However, the living memory of Christ was with them, making some sort of sense of the days. They relied more and more on their new group of Christian friends for sustenance. I can identify with all the above… it is our group of believers who are becoming foremost friends, as they offer spiritual comfort, and joy; meaningfulness and assurance. It’s not about gathering at church on a Sunday, but more about how God’s presence is deepening and suffusing our friendship, with brightness, comfort and direction. This newness in relationship will surely bond us strongly as we journey on.
The disciples were encountering Jesus, and this was their topic – Jesus’ appearance and the peace and grace that he alone offers, linking the Jesus they knew with the Jesus of the encounter, and the revelation that Jesus would soon leave them in physical person. It was witnessed by Jesus’ new friends and disciples, on a mountaintop. Not any disciples, but his closest Peter, James and John, not on any mountain but probably on Mount Horeb/Sinai, where the Law had been given to Moses. They saw Jesus linked in conversation with the prophets, Jesus talking to God, his father, and Jesus departing.
What would your translation of this be, in your own life right now? Some points for prayer and reflection:
Are we willing to accompany Jesus to the mountain?
What is our own present frame of reference?
What do we feel as Jesus leaves us?
What is this Holy Spirit that will come to us?
Are we still in spiritual lockdown?
Or, are we ready for the newness which the Holy Spirit along brings?
Shall we enter the next few days pondering our relationship with Jesus, both in the past, and now at a critical faith point? Can and how could we be receptive to a new current of thinking, processing, do-ing?
We started our Zoom conversation on Wednesday recounting our personal relationship with God, our ‘conversion point’. I wonder what yours is? We realised how much our background colours our faith walk, and I could celebrate how distinctively different we are, in both experience and tradition.
Let’s use this time to look at our church anew! May I ask you to consider, whilst we remain in quiet lockdown, where God might be nudging our churches?
☆New services and times… midweek? What service? Shared or alternating between the 2 churches? Different venue?
☆ A retreat – a day/weekend.. where?
* Social activities… a walk, a picnic, a tea in a garden, a venue (a garden centre?) Tentsmuir….
☆ different groups… either by extending or a new target group… how to contact them…. where are they? Whether you’d like to be involved or pray as we go there….
☆ Any courses or themes you’d like to follow? A bible study? (which book?) A coffee get together? At home, at church, where? When.. morning afternoon evening?
☆New places to advertise
☆ It’s a given that the strong ecumenical links are nourishing, and sustained. However if there’s a new initiative to add on, great!
☆If you’d like to put your thoughts on an email beforehand, fine, but let’s explore now!
READINGS FOR THE WEEK
COLLECT: O God, you reveal yourself in love;
Pour into our hearts such love towards you
That we, loving you in all things and above all things,
May obtain your promises,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and ever.
Acts 17: 22 – 31. Psalm 66: 7 to 19. 1 Peter 3; 13 to 22. John 14: 15 to 21
MONDAY Acts16: 11 to 15. Psalm 149. John 15: 26 to 16: 4a.
TUESDAY Acts 16: 16 to 34. Psalm 138. John 16: 4b to 11
WEDNESDAY Acts 17: 15, 22 to 18: 8. Psalm 148. John 16: 12 to 20
THURSDAY ASCENSION DAY Acts 1; 1 –to 11. Psalm 47/93. Ephesians 1: 15 to 23. Luke 24: 44 to 53
FRIDAY Acts 18: 9 to 18. Psalm 47: 1 to 6. John 16: 20 to 24
SATURDAY Acts 18: 23 to 28. Psalm 47: 1, 2and 7 to 10. John 16; 23b to 28
‘See you’ tomorrow in St Mary’s for Eucharist and at St Margaret’s on Thursday at 3pm in St Margaret’s, Tayport.
May the spirit of the living Christ be with you!
075 525 03859