I remember that the Sunday after Easter Sunday used to be known as 'Low Sunday'. It was also the day that ministers used to have off and leave the services to the Local Preachers. This is no longer the case, but it is easy sometimes to feel a little bit low after the great heights of rapture of Easter Sunday.
I was overjoyed to be preaching at my own church and to have a 'full house' as far as restrictions allowed. There was such warmth in the greetings we all shared with each other after having been away from church for so long. It was good to have the children with us, but no Easter Egg hunt in church this year, restrictions wouldn't allow children to run around the church. It was rewarding to see the wide eyed looks when I announced that the Easter bunny had been with some eggs they could collect at the end of the service. This Easter bunny of course had to drop off the eggs 72 hours earlier!! The children certainly understood eggs and new life and one girl told us that the egg represented the stone rolled away from the tomb, really impressive knowledge.
We did start our service by having a time of quiet as we remembered the four members of our church family who had passed away since we last met, however the inspirational and hope giving message of the resurrection helped us to feel that our special friends were now in a better place.
So Easter Sunday is over we move to the great 50 days to Pentecost, I hope you have all received a copy of the book, which give useful prayers and readings to use in this period.
Jesus appeared to his disciples in the post resurrection period to reassure them he was risen and to give them hope and challenge.
Jesus also comes to our lives, like he did to Mary, he calls us by our names, he reassures us of his never ending presence, he bids us to go into the world and share the good news that he is risen. In a prayer I used on Easter Sunday, these words struck a chord with me, ''Holy Spirit breezing among us this Easter morn,we adore you for breathing new life into us'
So maybe instead of a Low Sunday, this Sunday, like all Sundays, can be a time of hope and celebration of the risen Jesus and of the love of God and the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. As preachers I hope we try and make sure every Sunday is a high with hope and reassurance. We know that not everyone comes to church feeling 'on top of the world' many come with burdens and sadness, we can still seek hope and comfort even to people in their difficult times. Preaching is a challenge and a joy, I personally thank God for being called to this Ministry.
When we look at the gradual easing of restrictions, that also can bring us hope and joy. A chance to see people we haven't seen for some time, a chance to go into church again. Of course if you love shopping, the joy of going into town to visit and spend!! How good it will be when we no longer have to social distance, when we can give each other a 'hug' when we can sing in church. The Coulby Newham Baptist church which meets in the Community Centre near to our hose, had their Easter Sunday service outside in the car park. A neighbour said he stood in his garden to listen to their singing and how special it had been.
So we keep our hopes up, we trust in God's goodness for many more 'high days' and far fewer 'low days'
Read John ch 21 v 1-14. See how Jesus transformed a very low day to a very high day as he appeared again to his disciples, in their world of work. He comes in the same way into our worlds whatever we are doing, if we look for him, we will find him, recognise his presence, hear him call our names.
The hymn I have chosen is 'See what a morning' STF 309. A glorious hymn of hope with an equally glorious tune. The last line of every verse' for he lives, Christ is risen from the dead'
Keep safe and keep praying.
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