- The Rectory
- The Street, Barham
- CT4 6PA
THOUGHT FOR the MONTHUncomfortable Faith
Moving house during Holy Week was an unusual experience in that, not only is it an unsettling period, but we found ourselves out-of-synch with the regular patterns of worship and observances leading up to the great feast of Easter Sunday. However, that may be a good thing in being uncomfortable or losing ones bearings as we identify with the disciples who saw their potential future glory with their master unravelling in Gethsemane, at the house of the High Priest, in front of Pilate and inevitably upon the barbaric Roman machine of execution. I was reminded of this at the Good Friday Liturgy in the Cathedral when the choir sang the response of the crowd, to "crucify him, crucify him", for we imagine we would not have been one of the chanting voices; but would we have also shouted out loud caught up in the heat and the frenzy of the Passover crowd so that the orderly cheering of Palm Sunday becomes a distant memory?
The Resurrection appearances are challenging as their accounts are baffling, bewildering in challenging us to think 'outside the box' and to follow the risen Christ into his new kingdom. At first Jesus is not recognised by his faithful disciples, whether it is Mary Magdalene in the garden or the two disciples on their way to Emmaus. In C.S. Lewis' celebrated novel Prince Caspian we read that the Pevensie children, apart from Lucy, can not see Aslan ahead of them on their journey into the heart of Narnia, and only after a while, and bit by bit does Aslan reveal himself fully as their faith in him is restored.
In seeking Christ
we have to make a leap of faith in accepting his real presence whether suddenly
in an upper room, in breaking and blessing bread, or upon our own faith journey
this Eastertide. It is not always easy, as the disciple Thomas would at first
testify, or those who gathered on a mountain in Galilee, where some doubted
Christ's resurrectional appearances, and yet Paul confirms in his first letter
to the church in Corinth that Jesus had appeared to over five hundred
Being a Christian is certainly not a comfortable following as we are called to challenge that which wrongs society, and to have the courage to preach the gospel, to baptise and to bless in His name. Hopefully we find a certain comfortableness in our benefice fellowship in 'being' and 'doing' in the mission of Christ, and I would just like to add that we are so grateful in being made welcome with support and advice offered along the way as a new chapter of ministry begins.
Let us then remind ourselves that 'He is with us always, to the end of the age.'