Happy Easter!

We've made it through Lent - and I can tell you that setting ourselves a target of a good news story every day made for one of the most challenging series of Lent reflections. To mark this special day, I'm sharing another one of the prayers I wrote for Palm Sunday cos it works to mark our arrival at today.

We are Mary Magdalene, bowled over by the sheer wonder of Easter morning. As we go through this week, retracing your son’s steps from triumphant entry to Jerusalem to a criminal’s death on the cross, remind us that we are a resurrection people, not a Calvary people. Help our lives to shine, to be a living witness to the greatest story ever told. May we be light and salt to the world, this Easter and in the year ahead.

Lent 44

I was delighted to find this joyful story to finish my contributions to good news stories this Lent. The joy of a Christian-Muslim marriage.

This week's reflection comes from the prayers I wrote for Palm Sunday:
"We are Peter, frightened and weak. Scared to stand up for what we believe, afraid to turn the other cheek or to go the extra mile. Give your church and its members—all who call themselves Christian—the strength and courage to do the right thing, especially when it’s not the expected or accepted thing. Help us not to put reputation before justice or power before loving-kindness. Help us to be a serving community, a welcoming community, and open minded community, a questioning community. And we hold before you this evening all those who have been harmed by church members and in church institutions, secure in the knowledge that you love and care for them even if people have failed them."

Lent 42

Am struggling to find a good news story today so maybe the one I chose is cheating a bit, but I don't care. I'm feeling even less enamoured than normal with the media. See, I was trying to find a story I was telling my daughter about - the rail clerk who was sacked for 'removing a trolley from the line'. Only it turned out, of course, that there probably never was a shopping trolley on the line - but that hadn't stopped the tabloids reporting everything in the original story as fact, ranting on about health and safety, and lots of people being taken in by what turned out to be lies. It's annoying enough that the media jumps on bandwagons, but even more annoying that the follow up story - the truth - seemed to get very little coverage. I wonder what the tabloids would have reported about Holy week events had they been there?

While I try to calm down, have a lovely little - very important - Scottish fossil.

Lent 38

Sometimes we think, "There are so many problems - what can one person do to make a difference?" At least, I hope we think that, rather than just ignoring the fact that other people might be in need. My response would be, "Do what you can where you can. You can't do everything, but take up opportunities."

A simple google search can turn up all sorts of ways individuals can help; this site about helping refugees at a local level struck a chord as I out on a charity delivery/pick up van on Wednesday morning, helping families in hardship by redistributing good quality second hand furniture and providing essential white goods where needed. Samll in the greater scheme of things but invaluable to those people being helped.

Reflection: We are the crowd. Our Sunday shouts of Hosanna turn to Monday indifference to our neighbours’ needs, and by Tuesday we call out to crucify those who are different to us, the people we don’t approve of. Lord, give us hearts as wide and open as your arms on the cross, compassion as deep as your wounds. Help us to truly love our neighbours, especially those we find hard to get on with or hard to understand.

Lent 34

Hankie warning for this one. I saw it first on Nigel Owens's twitter feed and it had me sniffling. This is what life should be about.