As many of you will know, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first grandchild later this month; there is so much to look forward to when a baby is on the way but, for me, one of the many things that I am looking forward to is sharing a story with my grandson or daughter. I loved reading books with my children, and I cannot wait to do the same with this little one, with Hairy Maclary or Winnie the Pooh just two of my favourite characters.
Sharing stories is an important part of our life as a church community and on Sunday 24th February, at the Songs of Praise service, John Dodd shared with us some of the stories behind the hymns chosen. We also heard Mark Westmoreland and Paul Handley share their experience of coming to faith. It was wonderful to hear their stories and to be reminded that we each play a part in the shared story of the life of our churches, whether that’s St Giles or All Saints at Barnby or Coddington.
This month we will be celebrating Easter, as our journey through Lent leads us to the events of Holy Week, Good Friday and the amazing event of Easter Day.
We will take time to hear the story of Jesus final days with his disciples and their complete shock and disbelief at the discovery of the empty tomb. The story may well be familiar to us but each year we are invited to slow down and listen again. When we do, we can be sure that we will encounter a new and surprising truth about how, through Jesus life, death and resurrection, God revealed to humanity his amazing power to restore and redeem the whole of creation.
And the amazing thing about this story is that as we pay attention to it and retell it, we become part of it as, through His grace, God invites us to share in His mission to our communities.
Story telling is a part of our heritage – we all grew up listening to and learning stories. The gospels tell the story of God’s redeeming love for every single one of us. It has the power to transform the world and we are invited to play our part in bringing about that transformation.
So, this Easter, I pray that we would hear the story afresh and take our place as the story of God’s mission continues.
Have a blessed Easter!
Love and prayer, Revd Louise
Revd Louise Holliday