I don’t really know how to write about today, maybe it is enough to say that a hymn reduced me to tears, tears that came from a deep place and caught me by surprise. They were both tears of grief and of healing, and have somehow left me both emotionally drained and at peace, which is a strange mixture of feelings to contain. Perhaps I could best explain it as a letting go.
I was attending a meeting that was one of the many in a series of last-time I will do this meetings as I prepare to move from Blackpool to Sheffield this summer. I was surrounded by friends and colleagues who have at times over the last few difficult years surprised me by their support and generosity, and while I certainly won’t loose those friends there will be changes because of that move.
Today was the day in the Lancashire District where Presbyteral Ministers gathered to re-affirm their ordination vows, an act that always leaves me feeling humbled and amazed at the call that God has placed upon my life, and the way that he so often shows me grace as I stumble to walk in that calling. It helped that one member of this Synod reflect on his ability to make mistakes, but noted that God’s grace always won through.
We were also called to ponder the story of the woman with the jar of ointment who annointed Jesus, and his aceptance, and even affirmation of her ministrations even in the midst of the objections of others. Jesus words are telling, she had done something beautiful for him, something he needed, a need she responded to, whether out of simple gratitude or a deeper intuition.
How easy it is to de-humanise Jesus, to forget that he had deep needs and griefs, to move through this week telling his story but not allowing ourselves to be touched by his humanity, and thereby detatching it from touching ours. How easy it can be to hold to and follow our precious liturgies and rituals without entering into the depths of them, and allowing the Holy Spirit to beark into our lives affirming us as fully human, touched by the wonder of the depths of the love of God.
So we sang today; “My song is love unknown”, and I found tears flowing unexpectedly down my cheeks, I also found my hand held by a friend who did not allow me to call myself stupid for crying. Wrapped up in those tears as I said were feelings of grief and release, in some senses they were healing, and I sense that they have opened up a space in my soul for something new.
As the journey through Holy Week continues I was grateful for the reminder that Jesus accepted the ministry that he needed, and grateful for the enforced pause that made space for me to recieve in an unexpected way. The cross still lies before us the way is hard, but the pause of today gave me a breathing space for the days ahead, and I pray that we might all find deep holy moments as we continue to follow his story unfolding in our lives.
Loving God, thank you for todays reminder that Jesus accepted the care and ministry of others, help us too to be aware of our needs, and aware of those times when you draw close to us in and through others. Grant us the grace and humility to recieve your touch. Amen