What brings you joy?
Is it getting away on a holiday and discovering new places? Spending time with friends or family? Reading a great book? Walking in lovely scenery and enjoying nature? Listening to beautiful music? Watching the latest series of The Chosen? Is it worshipping God?
As I write this, it is only three days since we celebrated Easter so of course that is very much in the forefront of my mind. The joy of resurrection, for me at least, transcends that of Christmas Incarnation. Or perhaps it would be truer to say it completes it. The cry on Easter morning of: ‘Alleluia! He is risen!’ and the jubilant response: ‘He is risen indeed! Alleluia!’ never fails to stir up hope. The Light of the World, which seemed to be extinguished on Good Friday shines again, sin and death are defeated and Love wins the victory. Alleluia!!
This year, our journey through Lent was different from how it has been the last two years. As our church services have been able to resume a near-normality so we’ve been able to do things we had previously had to put on hold. We held a Messy Easter craft and worship session on the Saturday before Palm Sunday and were thrilled that several of the families from Babes and Tots came along. If the noise of happy children is any measure, then it was a joyful time!
For me, the highlight of Holy Week was Jerusalem Joy on Palm Sunday evening. How lovely to have a packed church for it and how wonderful to be part of the singing! There was a notable solo and acting performance from our own Douglas as well as musicians and singers from among our congregation. Look out for more about the event elsewhere in this newsletter. I was just in the chorus but I’d forgotten how uplifting it is to rehearse alongside other singers and I was definitely left wanting more, please!
I heard a children’s song recently about joy. It goes:
- O. Y., J.O.Y. That must surely mean
Jesus first, yourself last and others in between.
What a simple, yet profound message about how to discover joy.
With that in mind, we have a number of opportunities in the coming month to find joy: Christian Aid week always occurs in May and Christian Aid envelopes will be available on Sunday 8th May, a Sunday ahead of the actual week, which will culminate in the Christian Aid Quiz and Fish and Chip Supper at St Georges on Saturday 21st May, led by our own Wilf Hardy. Don’t miss it!
On Sunday the 15th May we welcome Christ Stratta from The Leprosy Mission to lead our worship. Chris has been before and is a popular preacher. It’s another chance to find joy in supporting TLM.
Finally, although the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is at the beginning of June, do look out for opportunities to celebrate locally. If you would like the church to host an afternoon tea, then please let us know (ask one of the stewards for the sign-up sheet). There needs to be sufficient of us to make it worthwhile.
Whatever you find yourself involved in this month, I pray you will find real JOY – the deep and abiding joy which comes from knowing the love of God in your heart and following Jesus in your life.
With every blessing,