This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Thursday, April 1, 2021
This week it has been such a joy to open the many, many photos you’ve sent in, for the montage underway for the Easter sunrise service. Even though they are pictures of God’s extraordinary expressions in Creation, I can still imagine the extraordinary people behind the cameras and the messages; and I am grateful. I continue to be amazed at your collective resilience, offering statements of faith in who we are, and whose we are, and where we will land, together, on the other side of this present time. Every photo, every note of courage reminds me how much I miss you. Have I said that lately? Too often, I’m sure. I miss you, and I can’t wait for the Easters we get to celebrate all together.
Also at the risk of repeat, the premise and the practice of waiting are more weighted for me this season, and especially this holy weekend, than at any other time in my ministry memories. I’ve never led in such circumstances before (clearly), but at the same time, I have never before been so thankful to have the stories and the truths of Jesus out before me. This time of waiting is bearable because I know and cling to the glorious reuniting that lays before us, beyond the despair of the tomb. But there I go again, getting ahead of myself. It’s still only Thursday. Valleys still loom, and there is no way around them.
The premise and practice of doing what we must, when we must, was very much on my mind as I prepared the sanctuary yesterday afternoon. Setting the table for tonight’s service was the primary task, but I was simultaneously gathering in the many pieces to put in place for Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday. Far more than props, I bless and give thanks for these countless artistic expressions. In colour, fabric, and structure, they are tactile, sensory reminders of the road Jesus travelled, in every aspect of his being. Each revealed and shared in their own time, like beautiful photos they hold us in place, for these sacred moments in time. They call us to take in where we are, even as we reach out for renewed life.
I trust that you’ll be able to catch sight of them all, in time, as we gather tonight for worship, and then again tomorrow, and then again on Easter Sunday. I trust that you, like me, will give thanks not just for the sacred space, and the many pieces that help us tell God’s story, in that space and far beyond – but also for the women and men who have and still do accumulate ways for us to persist in bringing God’s Love to life. This isn’t a ‘giving thanks for stuff’. It’s giving thanks for precious reminders of who we are, and whose we are, and where we will land, together, on the other side of this present time.
The elements are set, and God’s people are, too. Now, we wait, and we wonder, at God’s faithful, love-filled promise of all that is still to come. How beautiful and magnificent that the One for whom we wait is already here with us, in the waiting.
With love to you all, this Maundy Thursday, this holy weekend, and always,
‘God, make Easter my home.
Shelter me from apathy with a desire to do good.
Let the rhythm of my days pulse with your call to live justly.
Set the table of my soul with the generosity of your Spirit.
Furnish my life with such hope that, while I have breath,
I might not only share good news but also be a source of it.
God, make Easter not only my home but also my mission. Amen.’
(Mission & Service, A Prayer for Easter; The United Church of Canada)