Saturday, 28 March 2015

Easter thoughts

It's been a busy time over here!  Far too busy for a natural contemplative, but sometimes the seasons of our life are like that.  I've had three events in the last few weeks, and now I'm preparing to co-lead a retreat at Penhurst in two weeks time.
The themes and narratives of these events are very fresh in my head and impacting me as we approach Easter.  And the question I keep returning to is, "what difference would it make in our lives if we knew ourselves  ...   really knew ourselves  ...  to be deeply loved?   ...   and if we could accept that to the point where it transformed every situation?"  For the message in the mystery of the cross is surely that - that we are loved beyond our imagining.  The hard part lies in accepting that and surrendering ourselves into the ultimate safety of that truth.  In the midst of whatever chaotic or difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, God is working His purposes out  ...   and they are purposes woven in a tapestry of love.
This painting, 'Forgiven', by Thomas Blackshear, has always moved me.  Last weekend I explored with a local parish some thoughts about 'the man with the hammer', the Roman soldier who drove the nails into Jesus' flesh.  And I invited them to ponder the thought that the one who wielded the hammer was actually one of the first people to be washed in Jesus' blood, as it spurted from his wounds.  "This is my blood", Jesus had said, only the night before, "shed for the forgiveness of sins".  I wonder if those words echoed  in Jesus' head as he watched his blood covering the Roman soldier? 
What a powerful thought. ..  that's how much we are loved.
Thank you for your continuing interest in my ministry and for your support in so many ways.  Please pray for stamina, inspiration and balance as Jill & I prepare for the upcoming retreat, on the themes of Mystery and Glory.   And please pray for Viv, who will be joining us to lead an art activity.
And as you journey through Easter, may you see glimpses of God's glory, and may they change you in radical, life-giving ways.
Easter Blessings to you all   xxx