You are hereMay 2010
One of the best aspects of our joint benefice is the way that people work together: for me this was amply demonstrated by our Holy Week and Easter services this year – whatever we did, whether at St Saviour’s or St Michael’s there were people from both our parishes: attending, working hard to make things run smoothly or simply praying, it was very obvious that there was a deep sense of our Unity in Christ, and for that I thank you. It has made Easter all the more sweet this year – and the Spirit that inhabited our services was palpable – To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
But there is a sense in which this is really what Easter is about: consider the Disciples – pulling this way and that, arguing up to the end about who was the most important – they were a pretty rum lot! But Easter transformed them – suddenly they were inhabited by a new Spirit – and in the knowledge of the glory of the Risen Lord they became those fearless folk that changed the world. Of course we celebrate this aspect of Easter as we come to Pentecost on May 23rd
Now I am far from claiming that the Church of today is perfect – it manifestly is no such thing! Today the current hot debates are upon sexuality, gender and the like – and you cannot have missed the truly awful travails that even engulf the Papacy over sexual abuse. But what I am claiming is this: that the closer we come to the Spirit of Easter, the more united, the more loving, the more attractive we become. Most of this is common sense, after all:- who wants to join a Church that continually fights over apparent trifles, in the world’s eyes?
So Easter has shown us at our best – simply because we have engaged more fully with the heart of our faith. Whether on the March of Witness, or praying on the Watch of the Passion, or joining in our joyful celebrations on Easter Morning, no-one could have missed the presence of that same Spirit that changed lives so long ago – and is still changing lives in Stone today – and all over the world. The Lord is risen indeed – and he is also risen in us!
So may God bless us in our life together – and may we continue to see his mighty power at work. I believe God has great things in store for us – and that, in Bishop Gordon’s words, the best is yet to be!