Easter Message 2019

 

Dear Friends,

Some time ago I read this quote from Judy Cannato.  “The Spirit is creatively at work in this moment urging us to evolve, to become a new kind of human being such as the world has rarely seen before.  But what has been rare must become commonplace.”  I hear you saying, “Give us an example.  In whom have you seen the Spirit so creatively at work that they open doors to the possibility that we can, each one of us, evolve, become a new kind of human being?  It’s something to do with seeking to be true to the journey.  It is a long process of transformation, as we gradually shed some of our old ways of reacting and responding and learn to trust a new reality that, at first, seems unfamiliar, and, therefore, fraught with anxieties and fears.  It’s about daring to hear the intriguing and alluring whisper that is always there even though we don’t usually recognise it, the breath of the Spirit that suggests to us that there is something more.  We can talk quite readily about humankind pushing out the frontiers of knowledge in the natural world, in science and technology, in space exploration as we come to grips with some of the myriad wonders of the universe; but what about the frontiers of the Spirit?  What about the endless possibilities and wonders, at the moment lying dormant within me, within you that have never been explored?  Are they waiting for an awakening, a moment of awareness, a resurrection, a new surrendering to God who is in the end mystery, the mystery of love?  There is a great need in the present for people of faith to dare to listen for the whisper and to step up to the line, to be the change we want to see in the world, for the sake of the present and the future.

And all of this requires courage – good courage.  It’s easier to listen to the other perhaps more seductive whisper that, to paraphrase from Kipling, there’s no point in going further; where we’re at is the edge of cultivation.  So we settle down; this is it.  We don’t expect anything more; we don’t or can’t believe that there’s still something lost and waiting for us.  And yet we are taught that God is a God of continuing revelation.  He is our pilgrim God who invites us to journey with him in trust until we arrive where we started and, because of all our willingness to push out our ‘inner’ frontiers, to know the place, know ourselves, know God as if for the first time.  Courage does not mean that we are not afraid.  If we felt no fear then that would not be courage.  A better definition is perhaps the more popular saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”  The word courage comes from the French word ‘coeur,’ denoting the way of the heart.  I like the definition of wholeheartedness – to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.  That seems to me a good working partnership between heart and mind.  To follow such a way of the heart seems like total abandonment and most of us are not really ready for that – yet! Jesus was not immune to fear, but he went ahead, wholeheartedly.  He walked the talk.  Even knowing what was ahead, facing the cross in all its stark reality, he felt the fear and did it anyway.  It is a calling on all of us who are people of faith.  How we outwork that in our day to day lives will differ depending on our circumstances.  As we approach Holy Week and then come to celebrate Easter, my prayer is that I and we may be of good courage for whatever lies up ahead and follow the ever-expanding way of the heart for the sake of this wonderful world.          Ruth