As we move through Holy Week, remembering the events culminating in Jesus being crucified on the cross, like the first disciples, we are faced with the unknown, with uncertainty. I pray that we live and move forward with confidence in God.
The disciples accompanied Jesus into Jerusalem. They experienced the joy, the jubilation, of the crowd crying out "Hosanna!" The disciples witnessed Jesus challenging the religious system, overturning the tables of the money-changers and driving out the people selling animals for the sacrifice from the Temple. Jesus was anointed with valuable In the upper room they dined with Jesus, where he once again demonstrated the living out of our faith, being a servant, loving others. He also instructed us to remember him in the sharing of bread and wine, what we now celebrate as the Eucharist or Communion. Jesus led the disciples to the garden of Gethsemane after dinner. Jesus prays but the disciples cannot keep vigil with him. Jesus was handed over to the authorities. The disciples fled in fear. They denied him. Jesus was tried, abused and hung on a cross. He was mocked and died. His body was placed in a tomb. On that first Easter morning the tomb was found to be empty.
I imagine that the disciples were confused, fearful, full of uncertainty about what the future held. We know that these events, and what followed, allow us to be reconciled to God, to have new life in Christ, to be born of the Holy Spirit. We can be confident that God loves us.
Many of you will be aware that Bishop Jim has announced his resignation as our Diocesan Bishop as of July 31st. This brings us to a time of change, a time of uncertainty about our future. As we prayerfully seek God's will and the leading of the Holy Spirit, it is my hope that we use this time to strengthen our relationships. Our relationship and trust in God, through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; our relationships within our congregations, within our parishes, and within our Diocese. As we move forward, I pray that we have a sense of peace, seeking out God's direction and will, so that we may better live out our call to be the Body of Christ.
As we move forward let us remember Christ's words calling us to:
"... love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’... love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30–31 (ESV)