Daily Devotion 03 April 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Matthew 27: 57-61 ‘The Burial of Jesus’

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

‘Round the Earth’
Jan Struther (1901-1953)
Round the earth a message runs:
awake, awake, you drowsy ones!
Now leaps the sap in every stem
to chant the winter’s requiem.
No more of sloth and dullness sing:
sing love, sing joy, for Christ is King!
Round the earth a message runs:
arise, arise, you doleful ones!
Cast off your chains, you captives all
who long have lain in sorrow’s thrall.
No more of grief and anguish sing:
sing love, sing joy, for Christ is King!
Round the earth a message runs:
for shame, for shame, you brawling ones!
You shall more true adventure find
in friendliness of heart and mind.
No more of hate and envy sing:
sing love, sing joy, for Christ is King!
Round the earth a message runs:
rejoice, rejoice, you happy ones!
Now fall the gods of wrath and pain,
now comes your Prince of Joy to reign;
to him your brave allegiance sing:
sing love, sing joy, for Christ is King!

We all have our precious memories of Holy Week and Easter periods, and here is one I shall never forget. During the 1960s and 1970s there used to be ‘educational’ cruises on board the SS Uganda. The route often involved a docking in Israel and a visit to Jerusalem. I was a ‘Party Leader’ and responsible for 15 pupils who enjoyed this adventure of a lifetime.

The highlight of the visit to Jerusalem was seeing ‘The Garden Tomb’, a rock-cut tomb found in 1867. Given its position, size, and nature, it is regarded by many to be the authentic site where Jesus’ body was laid. Being there in person is certainly very evocative of the events described in the Gospels. It is situated adjacent to a rocky escarpment which has been proposed by some scholars to be ‘Golgotha’. There is no doubt in my mind that this area is a most meaningful and impressive place on earth. The visit to the Holy Land was full of suggestive authentic sites which helped to deepen one’s love and give thanks for the true meaning of our faith. Sadly, these sorts of educational cruises have been put on ice due to the present pandemic. But the memories of the Uganda, and the remarkable journeys of pilgrimage made by so many, remain.

Prayer:

Loving heavenly Father, you did it for me, you did it for me.
There on the cross you did it for me. Gone are my transgressions
and now I am free, all because Jesus did it for me. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2021 Derek Scott.
All hymn words no longer in copyright.

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