A reflection for Holy Week
Light, limiting our horizons,
reducing our world
creating the terror of the dark,
closing in around us.
Light, missing, losing the path, hiding the way.
Light falling away quickly
Watching the lights disappear,
leaving behind an emptiness
a hole where they once were
and the darkness encroaching
drawing closer and stronger.
Lights, burnt into our retina, leaving the impossible shadows
that continue to appear in our vision, long after they’ve gone.
Longed for light, that can resolve the phantoms of the darkness
Darkness that came with the extinguishing of the light.
Blackening the world, and leaving only the memory of the light
Hope that the light will return
hope that the dawn will transform the landscape
lighting the path, banishing darkness
and resolving the shapes that terrify.
Hope – but for now, darkness.
The light is going, has gone.
But still, we hope.
A reflection for Holy Week
Thunder, distant in the air, warning of storms.
Thunder, drawing closer, counting the gap after the flash.
Thunder, cracking overhead in time with the lightning.
A voice, calling out in the air,
with distant rumble that carries power and menace
and speaks of untold and unknown strengths
that terrify and frighten.
Glad that the distant thunder is not immediate.
Sound that we hear but never fully comprehend.
The voice of God, speaking to the world that he created,
speaking of power, strength, unknown and untold in its majesty.
A voice, thundering, speaking truth,
drowning out the clamour and squabble of
differing opinions and voices here,
shouting to have their opinions heard,
their moment in the feeble glow of our attention.
God’s voice thunders, flashes across the world
speaking of his power, his calling of Jesus.
‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
The voice that speaks of our place in this world,
of our own insignificance
and the futile attempt to match our power with God’s.
Thunder, calling to us across the world
speaking of the power of creation
and of the Creator.
A reflection for Holy Week.
A single grain of wheat. Something tiny and insignificant.
Is this how Jesus saw himself?
We see a giant striding across history,
founding a movement that changed humanity forever.
But a seed, something so tiny?
Something that only has worth when part of a huge flood of them?
Something that achieves almost nothing?
It’s easy to forget, sometimes, how obscure Jesus really was.
A backwater teacher in a backwater country.
Never travelling, never visiting Athens or Rome or Alexandria.
Never having an audience with the Emperor.
Refusing titles, honours, dignity.
The only people lower than him
were the ones he kept table with.
Jesus almost becomes a warrior king.
Jesus almost founds a huge church.
Jesus almost has crowds doing everything he asks.
Instead, he denounces violence.
He drives followers away by the impossibility of his demands.
He hides from the crowds.
A single grain of wheat, cast upon the ground, swallowed up by the dirt.
A grain of wheat, seemingly like thousands or millions just the same.
A death, an execution, like thousands carried out by the Romans
time and time again.
A death, almost forgotten,
an obscure footnote in history, if that.
You are very warmly invited to join us at St. Mark’s Church in Northwood, as the congregation there prepares to celebrate the life of the church. We are moving out of the building to pastures new, and are looking back to give thanks for the stories contained in the old building, and looking forward to the story that God is preparing us for in the future.
Bishop Paul Bayes is with us at 4pm, this Sunday, 20th March. Everyone is welcome – bring memories, stories, photos – and if you aren’t able to make it, we’d still love to hear from you.
Please keep us in your prayers as we look to the future in God’s hands.
Come and live the Holy Week story with us, as we celebrate the events of this most special time of the year.
9.30am Eucharists in St. Martin’s & St. Mark’s
11am Eucharists in St. Andrew’s & St. Chad’s
4pm St. Mark’s Celebration Service with Bishop Paul
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
7.30pm Holy Week Reflections, in St. Martin’s, St. Chad’s & St. Andrew’s respectively
7pm Last Supper, Eucharist and Vigil
12.30pm Ecumenical Walk of Witness, from St. Mary’s Northwood to St. Chad’s
3pm Hour at the Cross, at St. Martin’s
6pm Ecumenical reflective service at St. Andrew’s
8pm Easter Vigil at St. Andrew’s
9.30am Eucharists at St. Martin’s, and with St. Mark’s in the Scout Hut
11am Eucharists in St. Chad’s & St. Andrew’s
Make your Christmas special by joining us at one of our many events over Christmas.
Saturday 5th December
12-3pm St. Martin’s Christmas Fair
6:45 for 7pm Duke of Lancaster’s Band Concert in St. Chad’s
Sunday 6th December
6:30pm Advent Service of Light in St. Martin’s
Saturday 12th December
11am Carol Singing in Kirkby Town Centre
Sunday 20th December
9:30am Carol Service at St. Mark’s
6:30pm Carols by Candlelight in St. Chad’s, St. Andrew’s, and St. Martin’s
4pm Crib Services in St. Andrew’s, St. Martin’s, and St. Chad’s
8:30pm First Communion of Christmas in St. Mark’s
11:30pm Midnight Communion in St. Martin’s, St. Chad’s, and St. Andrew’s
10am Christmas morning services in all four churches
Several hundred people turned out to pay their respects for Remembrance Sunday this year, despite the conditions. This was the last year at the cenotaph in its current location, and as last year, the parade then went into St. Chad’s for a brief service, remembering the 75th anniversary of the start of the Liverpool Blitz. Cadets read some first hand experiences and memories, images of the blitz brought back memories for some, and told Liverpool’s story for others, and an evocative soundscape of air raid sirens and bombs, made the memories even more powerful. The event finished with singing Abide with me, and the petals scattering showing that despite so many losing their lives, they are not forgotten.
Saturday, 7th November, at 7pm in St. Martin’s, the Parish Choir will be performing their first concert in aid of children’s cancer charities. Entry is free, with a raffle and refreshments to raise money. Songs will be a mixture of old favourites and new surprises. Everyone welcome – please come along and support!