April 13th – 18th 2020

Monday April 13th, a thought from Nicole McConkey

He is not here – he lives!

When Mary went to the tomb, she didn’t find Jesus where she expected him to be. This Easter Sunday, the church was not found where she was expected to be – not in buildings, not all dressed up in new clothes. But the church is alive and well. Just this past week, I heard several stories of how our church family is looking after each other and people in the community. You are, we are, Jesus’ hands and feet! The reason?  “I serve a risen Saviour, He’s in the world today! I know that He is living, whatever men may say I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer. And just the time I need Him He’s always near. He lives, he lives! Christ Jesus lives today!…”

Lord, help us to see with your eyes and love with your heart. Amen.

Tuesday April 14th, a thought from Sandra Brower

The good news of Easter is often anticlimactic if we have skirted the darkness that precedes it. Denial is one of the shadows of Holy Week. We associate it with the cock-crow, but it has many guises.

In her article on how to ignore ‘coronavirus-inspired productivity pressure’, Aisha Ahmad says that ‘calamity is a good teacher.’ She exhorts us to silence the noises of productivity that are clanging across social media right now. Busyness, she claims, is often a coping mechanism masking denial. Instead, she encourages us to make room for the reflective space necessary for acceptance, for only acceptance ‘will allow us to reimagine ourselves in this new reality.’ What does it mean to be resurrection people here and now?

In these early days of the Easter season, take time to stop, reflect, and accept, so that you can be a bearer of hope.

Wednesday April 15th, a thought from Dwight Swanson

A time to plant, and a time to pull up what was planted [Ecclesiaste 3:2].

One of the things I am thankful for in this time of isolation is our garden. I call it my Gen Shalom, Garden of Peace, where I can ‘sit under my vine and fig’ (Micah 4:4). Twenty years ago it was a jungle; over the years I have been able to form the space into a place that brings peace and calm. But it requires constant attention to keep it that way. And in this is the lesson: that a garden is a place of beauty to be enjoyed, yet there is always work to be done. This Spring’s project was to be repair of the lawn, which was ravaged by the winter rains. But, just when I need the grass seed, it cannot be purchased. The time for planting has been interrupted!

This time of forced distancing may, for many, seem to be just such an interruption in life. But, I wonder. Perhaps this might be an appropriate time to focus on maintenance of the heart’s relationship with God; to plant new seeds of faith and patterns of awareness, and obedience. Wisdom is discerning the times.

Thursday April 16th, a thought from Colin McConkey

Recently Pastor Steve mentioned the movie Groundhog Day in a sermon.  I smiled as he started to talk as it is a favourite movie of mine.  The lead character Bill Murray relives Groundhog Day (2nd Feb) constantly. He wakes up each morning realising that he is constantly repeating the same day.  

I get into my car at the same time each day. A girl on a scooter zooms past me from the left then a bus crosses my path on the right.  Then I drive to work etc. The boys do their school work at home. Then we wake up the following morning and don’t feel anything has changed.  Still no end of social distancing in sight so the cycle continues. 

In the movie it did finally change and for us too it will although the end may not be quite yet.  Although God is unchanging, we must remember his mercies are new every morning, great is his faithfulness. 

Friday April 17th, a thought from Hannah Clarkson

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

(Hebrews 13:8)

This last month has brought a lot of inconsistency to my world, events being cancelled and not being able to see and hug my family and friends. I am thanking Jesus today for his consistency in what seems to be an inconsistent world today.

  1. The consistency of Jesus’ love for me
  2. The consistency of grace in my life
  3. The consistency of my friendship with these lovely people
  4. The consistency of love my family has for me
  5. The consistency of still being able to worship Jesus any time, any where
  6. The consistency of God’s plan for the world and for me
  7. The consistency of church as the people of God

I could go on and on. I love consistency in my life, so I thank God for this reminder and always being there even in this confusing and frustrating time

Saturday April 18th, a thought from David McCulloch

The year of the Climbing French Bean (‘corona’)

I’ve never had success in growing beans.  However, this year I decided to try again.  Although we have a small greenhouse, my added encouragement was to use a heated propagator inherited from my brother-in-law, Bob.

The result came within days.  As the bean shoots emerged, my mind was instantly taken back to early school days.  I remember planting a bean in class (no idea what kind) which emerged slowly by pushing up the soil and uncurling towards the light.  Magical.

Now begins the daily watch, waiting for the night frosts to pass and the planting out to begin.  The ‘bean cage’ is ready with its netting.  I need to be patient.  For how long?  ‘Sowing to cropping 12 weeks’, says the packet.  My ‘corona’ bean is teaching me patience.

Photo by Anya Rokenroll on Unsplash

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