Previous letters 23rd April 2020
I hope this communication finds you well. We are living in very strange times and I'm still trying to figure out the best way of communicating with you all. I'm thinking of doing a kind of thought for each week and I'm working on developing it so that it can go round the circuit one way or another. My initial idea is that I will try a variety of styles over how ever many weeks we remain in this situation. So sometimes you might get a little sermon type thing, sometimes more of a prayerful type of thing, sometimes a poem or other kind of thing I have written. I hope that will be ok and it would be good if some of you might feel you could reply. I'm sure having a conversation like that would help to keep us together as a circuit family.
So this is my thought for this week, the third Sunday of Easter:
One of the lectionary readings for this Sunday is Luke 24:13-35 the account of the conversation between the risen Christ and some disciples on the road to Emmaus on the evening of the first Easter Day. I've always enjoyed reading this story. There's something about it which is calming and re-assuring. It's a story which expresses fresh hope amid the gloom of the preceding few days as people gradually begin to realise that God hasn't abandoned them and that there might be a positive future. But it's early days. They still can't quite see a way forward. They are still grief stricken and fearful, but there is just a sense that things might be ok in the end. Although our current situation is very different, there are perhaps some parallels with our own varying states of mind. Like me, perhaps you sometimes feel worried and even overwhelmed at the situation in which we find ourselves and then, maybe even the same day, you might feel much more positive and hopeful. I think we're all going through an odd mixture of feelings right now and it can be hard to know what is helpful and rational and what isn't. For me, the encouraging thing about this Bible story is that in amongst all the mixed feelings and confusions, it offers a hint of God for those who are willing to see it. And for those early followers of Jesus, that hint was enough to take them from a place of worry and confusion to being a world wide movement for good. So for now, we too will have to make do with just a hint of God amidst everything else. But we can be confident that it will be enough to hold us together as God's family and to get us through this.
Yours in Christ,