Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 2013

Easter 2013, from the chair of Canon Francis:

“Christ is Risen”
“He is Risen Indeed”

So Eastern Orthodox Christians greet one another on Easter Day. In times past there was another custom I think I may have shared with you. They danced in a double circle and greeted each oncoming person by  taking a hard boiled egg from a basket and cracking  it against the egg of the other person as they sang  “Christ is Risen”.

The cracking open of the egg symbolized the opening of the Tomb. Perhaps we could sing when we find an egg on our Easter Egg Hunt. Somehow the chocolate bunny does not cut it or have any meaning.

I once overheard, in a restaurant, a women say, “I love Easter” and then in a rather superior tone “Of course I do not believe all that about the resurrection of Jesus.” How sad. It is so sad to believe that our human brain can understand everything even the workings of the Almighty God the Creator of the Universe. We may not be able to understand but we can experience His love and the joy that love brings as we reach out and share it with others. We may not all be able to understand scientific realities but we can experience spiritual realities and pass on the compassion generated by His love. God is love and His love gives power and strength, His love gives us discernment and wisdom, and is revealed to us by the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus on the cross and in the empty Tomb.

It was also revealed in the lives of the people of the Church which grew from a bewildered few in Jerusalem to a worldwide community of people of many nations and denominations.

This is the freedom He promised Israel.

Jesus rose again and is alive in us.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 2013

We are now well into the season of Lent. That is the time when we remember Jesus forty days Fasting in the Wilderness.

The word “Lent” means spring and it should be a growing time when life stirs within us and throughout the earth. We look at ourselves and are dismayed by our own weaknesses. The first thing we must do is ask forgiveness. We come humbly to the throne of Grace and Jesus enfolds us with the supreme Love that took him to the cross. As we receive his love, we move into being more confident and competent people. As we grow in love and faith we learn to be more disciplined. The word ‘discipline’ suggests to us  harsh and difficult lives. Really it makes our lives flow more easily as we follow a regime.

Our first discipline is prayer. If we have not already done so let us find a time which we will give for prayer. Let us make those prayers meaningful and not just a time for asking but also a time for being with Him. Throughout the day and night may we be open to send up quick prayers for help or to share a joy and give  thanks. We should strive to come together with our brothers and sisters and children in the faith, and worship.

May we grow with and support each other in our daily lives. Let us grow in faith to perceive God’s glory.  As children of light may we help others to see their way in the darkness on the disciplined road towards  truth, life and love. It is never too late to start and we need never stop.

Gracious God, as we make our Lenten journey 
towards Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we pray 
that we may be alert to the presence of Jesus 
and attentive to your guidance along the way. 
In the name of Jesus, the suffering 
and glorified one. Amen. 

Dr. Terry Donaldson.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February 2013

“Dream the Impossible Dream”.

That song from the musical “Man of La Manche” is drifting down the hall to my room. We all of us have dreams or plans for the future, even those who are in their nineties as I am. We should keep in mind that God
has plans for us too. Not just in the grand plan of our lives but in our day to day activities.

In the collect for the Third Sunday after Epiphany there are these words, “by grace above you call us and accept us in your service”. It is important for our plans to be His plans. Are we fearful as to how we can be sure we are following His will? First let us remember that, “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4).

Daily as we pray and live let us lift our hearts in love to Him and surrender to that love. If we make mistakes, as we will, remember how great was His love, that he gave His life for us that we might live in perfect knowledge of Him.

Let us learn the difference between giving up and acceptance. If you can accept the large rock that blocks our path, we may find it provides a solid seat to sit on, even if it is hard. We can take comfort from that rock and even find it has absorbed some worth from the sun. Perhaps this is just a siting place and we will move on. Perhaps this is the place God want us to accept and stay to do something for Him here.

As the collect says, he calls us and accepts us. He never lets us go. We must never let go of Him. Let each one of us live day by day conscious of and in the strength of His love. Let us be vessels of that love so we may see Him in each other. We are not alone as we go forward.

Canon Frances