Nearly there. Today is Good Friday. One of the busiest days in my year, so why am I still sitting in bed at 7.41am and starting to write this? Good question. This is the first Good Friday in my new setting and it is also the first year when I have had a Holy Week without having to prepare a sermon for Easter Day. I had hoped to enter into the Passion a bit more deeply than usual with space for my own reading, prayer and reflection. It hasn’t really happened, but perhaps it will today. My schedule is:
Get up, breakfast etc…. switch on computer and send hubby service sheet for the hour by the cross he is leading this afternoon so he can pad it out.
Finish getting the stuff ready for my noon family service (the only thing I am leading today). Get supplementary texts ready for the Reader who is taking communion by extension on Sunday plus the wafers and wine. But this could be done this afternoon.
10am – Stubwood Methodist chapel with my Denstone congregation – I presume and hope it’s an hour.
Rocester – join in children’s craft activity
Noon – Family service at Rocester for about 45 mins.
Help with tidying away the craft stuff.
Lunch – first time ’ve had one on Good Friday for I don’t know how long.
2pm – Rocester – an hour by the cross led by a Reader.
So… that’s the To Do list + emails etc etc etc…. and whatever the day brings. Including today’s act of reading the gospel and considering who I need to forgive – not aware of any outstanding debts.
Lunch – a cheese and tomato bread roll. The roll was one of a pack of 4 that Terry bought so that I could use one last night at communion and have one for the family service today. The morning has gone well. The service at the Methodist church was led by a retired minister very well. I was impressed that he spoke without notes – even a poem!!!! As I was listening (and at that point assumed he was a lay preacher) I had thought, it’s all right for him he’s had plenty of free time to think about what he has to say, to go over it and memorise it. That was perhaps unfair of me. Definitely unfair. He has had years of experience and it showed. Overall a good time was had, and people appreciated me being there.
On to Rocester and setting up for the family service. The dice that had been in my box of props that I lent to the school have gone missing, as have 2 of the new very long nails that have had rusty substitutes in their place. I also soon realised that the projector and screen was not put up ready and as time went on it was obvious there’s been a breakdown in communication. This confirmed by a phone call. And because many of the parents picking up children from the crafts didn’t want to stay I wondered if it would be happening anyway. Then one mum said she would have stopped but had to get home by 12.30. I replied that if we could get people to sit down and get started I could be finished by 12.25. So we quickly rounded them up, got them to select an item for the display and got on with telling the story minus hymns, although we did do a chorus of Sing Hosanna. Just as we were drawing up to 12.25 I had got to the resurrection and there was just time to explain the nail everyone had been given. It represents their sins (denying Jesus, being nasty, naughty, selfishness, stuff we do wrong, stuff we didnt do that could have etc) and they were invited to let the nail represent the things they’ve done wrong and then drop it in a tin at the foot of the cross. I would say a prayer afterwards, but if the mum & child want to go first I would say a prayer with them as they leave. Which is what I did. And she said to me that she had done stuff in the past that wasn’t good. So I was able to tell her that if she had genuinely said sorry then she was forgiven. Her daughter had a T-shirt with “sorry not sorry” written on it. So I was able to pick up on that and say that if she really is sorry, then she really is forgiven. Off they went, and you never know, they may come back on Easter Day.
After a quick lunch I returned to church for the 2-3pm hour before the cross led by our Reader. It was a good time of reflection. After tidying up etc and back home for a bit of admin I went for a walk (via the farm shop at Denstone for some gammon). A beautiful day – just right for pondering God’s love. I met some people at my Denstone church – the 10 year old, Angel, is going to be baptised soon so we tried the font out for size. We need a step. Then on the way home I met a man with his 6 year old triplets who go to one of my schools. We chatted for quite a long time. And then met a lady who lives on a farm locally and is branching out to provide glamming. I offered to visit and bless the new venture when they’re ready and she gladly took me up on the offer.
Back home with aching feet I decide a gin and tonic is just the thing. A bit more admin, including booking a funeral for the day I return from holiday and a visit next week for a baptism that’s on the Sunday I’m back from holiday..
Just as well this Holy Week and Easter has been fairly light for me, compared to other years! I didn’t manage to do any reading today. Blame it on the sunshine!
And so, what about the question of forgiveness? I still haven’t brought to mind anything outstanding that I need to forgive. I have forgiven some fairly major things in the past and that has been hard work over several years. In fact I am almost ready to send a manuscript to a publishers of my story of recovery from depression and into being well – the product of many a retreat and quiet day, illustrated with art work done on those occasions and poems.
I will post an extract tomorrow. I have already switched my computer off for the day and am getting ready to settle down for an evening with my darling husband.
I wonder what tomorrow’s act will be……. the last one!