On the eve of this rather surreal Easter Sunday, I greet you in the name of the Lord.
While observing the liturgies of Holy Week on my own in the church has been strange, it has also been a real privilege, and I’m thankful to live on site, thankful for the technology which allows me to connect with others through the internet, thankful for all the people who joined me in prayer from all over the country and indeed the world, and who posted kind comments or sent encouraging messages. Mostly I’m thankful to God for the faith that assures us that even though times are very difficult and even if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us.
It is my prayer that all of you feel that assurance and that presence in these anxious times, especially those of you who may be alone and feel very lonely, vulnerable or isolated.
But despite all the challenges of this present time, Easter is a time which testifies to life, not death; to victory, not defeat; to light, not darkness; to hope not despair, and to new beginnings rising from the ashes of shattered dreams and expectations.
So take heart my friends, better days lie ahead. For now we need to keep each other and ourselves safe by following all the advice and directives we have been given. Please continue to pray for all who are sick or suffering; for all whose lives or livelihoods have been affected by this coronavirus; for all who work puts them at risk; for those who are tasked with leading us or finding effective treatments and a vaccine against Covid19, and for all who are lonely or anxious. And as the Lord often answers our prayers through us, please reach out by phone to those who might be glad of hearing a friendly voice or an offer of help.
Please feel free let me know if you need shopping arranged, or if you find yourself in financial difficulties due to loss of income or increased expense. You can also send me prayer requests to be shared in confidence with our Prayer Group, which meets on Tuesday evenings via Zoom.
From Monday onwards I will resume daily services of Morning Prayer at 10.30am.
Finally, tonight at 9pm we are all being encouraged to Shine a Light in our windows to honour all who have died in Ireland and around the world from Covid 19, all those who are sick, and all our healthcare and front line workers. I intend to place the Paschal Candle in the Rectory window and will be lighting it from the Easter Fire outside the church at 8.45pm tonight – you can join me on Facebook for that short ceremony also if you wish.
May I wish you and all your loved ones a blessed, peaceful and safe Easter.