Good Friday

Lord Jesus,

Your hands that you held out for us,

as you called us by name,

lie pierced and wounded.

In your agony you didn’t forget us,

even when we had forgotten you.

Let us not hide our face from your suffering,

so we can see your sacrifice for us.

You gave us eternal life by giving up your life,

and by your wounds Lord Jesus we are healed.

Amen

  

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Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

  Palm Sunday, there is just something about palm that makes me feel invigorated. I remember holding a palm cross for the first time last year and sniffing it (I’d like to acknowledge here that I am rather strange, I love smelling things, smells hold such great memories!) anyway, the lovely scent that came off it was just so fresh that I hung all seven (there are seven in our family) up on a red piece of wool and there they still are today on my wall. 

When I look back at my reactions to Palm Sunday last year I can see God in my decisions, from using the red wool, to displaying them in my house. Not only had our saviour ridden into Jerusalem, but he had ridden right into my heart, my family, and my home. I had welcomed him waving a paper palm leaf at our family service and was nearly knocked off my feet with this overwhelming surge of love and joy as I sang and waved. 

Palm Sunday was the beginning of my calling to serve Christ, at the time I had no idea why I felt the way I did, how could waving a piece of paper suddenly make me feel like I should be ordained, last year I didn’t know anything about ordination! I just knew that God was telling me that I should think about it.

This year the palm crosses were out again and they smelt great, I was sidesperson with my friend and we handed them out from a lovely bowl. Waving the palm crosses during the service was excellent, seeing my children take part in the service was so wonderful.

After the service I was voted in as the new church warden. It was such a surprise. I practically laughed in my head at God as a few weeks back he had stopped me in my tracks to fill out the form and then sent me with trembling knees to ask two people to support my nomination. I would have never done this normally, feeling vulnerable is certainly one of my fears, but throughout this past year I have found that following Jesus has made me feel strength from my weaknesses. 

Jesus was vulnerable as he rode into Jerusalem, he knew what was coming his way. When he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane he was vulnerable and alone as he left his disciples to keep watch, he was vulnerable when he was beaten, stripped, pierced, and crucified but he had strength from his Father, confidence in the plan that his Father had for him, his vulnerability became his strength and from there I have strength to leave my own fear of being vulnerable, for when I feel challenged, or when I feel vulnerable I am closer to Christ and he is my strength and my saviour.

I have faith in God’s plan for me, 

I will go Lord if you lead me, I will keep your people in my heart. 

White as snow

As always when times are troubled, prayer is the place where I can find that extra comfort I need. I’ve felt very alone recently, the daily cross we all bear has seemed to be huge, so big I can barely nudge it. Yet, I keep moving, slowly plodding on. I open my heart to our Lord in a huff, I slump exhausted on the floor looking at the cross wondering why it is so heavy all the time. He looks at me, takes my hand and we walk together, a little faster than before, the energy that flows within me when he is there fuels my journey.

I’ve made some difficult choices recently, things I’ve had to let go, and taking a step to say no to being the support system for my parents as they move out separately. Last night my prayer before bed was a plea for forgiveness, that those who I have left do not feel I have deserted them, that also my parents are safe in Jesus’ healing hands. During my whole sleep I felt like I was so loved in my dream, like a huge group of souls visited and showed me their love, I woke up feeling rejuvenated, and there was a huge blanket of snow.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18 

I took a long walk in the snow and I was reminded of the “Footprints in the sand” although there was only one set of footprints in the snow this morning, I was certainly not alone.