The story of Holy Week is a story of a roller coaster of mixed emotions. Everything from the ecstatic joy of the crowd on Palm Sunday to the confusion of many as the week progresses. Various players in the story want Jesus and then don’t want him. They are filled with anticipation and also with disappointment. They are angry and numbed with sadness. Individuals in the story are disappointed at their own words and filled with an overwhelming sense of being let down.
There are moments of deep devotion and also the most terrible scenes of pain and grief. Jesus himself is caught up in this whirlwind of emotions, feeling a sense of isolation and abandonment finding himself praying alone in darkness of Gethsemane, whilst his friends sleep off the Passover celebrations.
Behind everything that happens however is a God who is doing something extraordinary. Who understands every reaction in the story because that God is living them in Jesus.
We too continue to face a whirlwind of emotions. Confusion, hope, anger, despair, anticipation, frustration, deep sadness, uncertainty as the effects of lockdown, isolation and social distancing takes it toll.
As the joy of Easter dawns, we are again reminded that God is also there for us, helping us through and encouraging us to be there for one another. For he is the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac, the God of Ruth, Mary, Peter and John but also the God of the Colin’s, Sheila’s and us today.
Centuries before the time of Jesus, the Psalmist recognised that we are never alone when he wrote: ‘When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you’. (Psalm 56:3) May we this Easter put our trust in the in the risen Lord.
May God give you health, strength and peace this Easter.
Please continue to pray for the circuit staff team, the staff of The Methodist Centre as they continue to reach out to the vulnerable and all in our communities who are supporting others at this time.
Loving God, in Jesus Christ,
who died and rose again for our salvation,
cast out the darkness of our anxiety,
fear and mourning,
enfold us in your love
and give us joy and hope this Easter. Amen.
To view this as a video please click HERE
An Easter Message from the President & Vice President of the Methodist Church can by viewed: HERE
Stations of the Cross video: HERE
EASTER WORSHIP IDEAS
Suggestions for Easter worship opportunities and how to help others in worship can be found here, including service sheets to be printed at home. For those Methodists feeling the loss of communion, a short act of spiritual communion is now available. Full details of resources for Easter are available here.
A selection of streamed Methodist services are taking place during Easter. The list of services, produced using current guidelines, can be found here.
The Evangelism and Growth Team has launched a new social media campaign: #loveyourself #loveyourneighbour. The campaign will engage with the many well-being conversations that have recently sprung up. More information and all the graphics, as well as a link to give us your ideas and stories, are available here.
A fifteen minute reflection from the team at Methodist Central Hall Westminster is to be broadcast across all 39 BBC local radio stations at 3pm on Good Friday. The reflection has been produced following current guidelines. You can find your local BBC station here.
This Sunday, the virtual church choir organised by the National Methodist Choir of Great Britain will be performing a special online event on Easter Day, at 4pm to launch All We Can’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal. You can watch the ‘Easter Sunday Singalong’ on Facebook and Youtube channels.
The Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, together with Church leaders from denominations across Britain and Ireland, have issued a statement in response to the ongoing crisis.