We are in Holy Week, the week which begins with Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, contains Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and which culminates in the Resurrection. We continue to live lives that are physically separated and yet we strive to be united spiritually as closely as ever. Over the last year we seem to have rediscovered the things that matter -- caring for our neighbour, looking out for one another, saying thank you to those whose presence we had previously never noticed. We are finding that blessings do indeed abound!
Who, last year, would have thought that we would spend two Holy Weeks in such circumstances and that we still would not be in our church building for Easter Day. Yes, God be praised, we now have a vaccine, we now have hope, we now look forward to getting back into our buildings before very much longer. Our Easter Day worship will be the first of our services which will be livestreamed from Trinity. The service will be in an empty church but we shall soon be able to invite people to join me in the building. The livestreaming will continue as part of our mission and ministry, enabling those not able to join us physically to remain in fellowship with us and to join in or worship.
So, let us walk through Holy Week knowing that we walk the way of Christ. Let us, in faith, set our faces towards the empty tomb and fill our lungs ready to shout "Alleluia! He is Risen!" . Let us, though, also recognise that the route to that place takes us from the table of fellowship, into the garden of betrayal and up the hill of crucifixion where is becomes dark and lonely and desolate. For some people this week will be all of those things. Let us hold the world in love and peace and prayer knowing that we too are held by the hands which have been stretched out and nailed to the cross.
Let us proclaim that, even in the darkness, the light shines. Let us proclaim that, even in the deepest sadness, joys waits to break forth. Let us proclaim, that even when we least expect it, blessings abound.
The Rev Dr Adrian Burdon
The Methodist Church in Oldham
Shaw & Royton Circuit | Oldham & Saddleworth Circuit