My Dear Parishioners,
On this glorious Easter Day, I wish to share with you some thoughts on: “Living Every Day in Gratitude.” Perhaps there could be no better occasion to concentrate on this theme than on the day when we commemorate our Lord’s resurrection from the dead, and all that it means to us in our Christian pilgrimage. Indeed, a weekly reorientation toward God is of the utmost importance in our lives. But this is best done with fellow travelers on the journey of life. We all struggle with egotism and destructive tendencies, but the act of standing alongside one another, helps us to support our neighbours in the hard work of a healthy and wholesome spiritual engagement.
In this way, the encounter in corporate worship every Sunday is a vital part of Christian living, and that needs to be supplemented by daily discipline. But I’m afraid that this idea of daily discipline, has fallen out of fashion among Christian people nowadays. No doubt, we can learn something on this point from our Muslim neighbours. They have five obligatory prayer times which interrupt the day’ s schedule to remind them that God exists. We Christians must learn to live in the presence of God and think of God during the busy and hectic
day. It goes without saying that carving out some time each day for God can transform the day. It also helps us to live reflectively, so that in our twilight years, we will be able to hark back on our youthful days and appreciate more, those moments when we were young. By pausing for God, we pause for everything else. We consciously recall our good health, the fun moments, our children’s prayer time and Sunday School, we offer our employment concerns, and we consciously relish the many moments of living which we will have had.
Thus spending time with God must become habitual and must not lead to intolerance. In fact any encounter with cosmic love should lead to the cultivation of a disposition of generosity and understanding. This is why our Book of Common Prayer provides daily devotions for individuals and families and suggests times of the day when we should pause and remember God especially at the beginning and end of the day. These daily devotions provide a powerful means of continuing the work that starts on Sunday when we worship our God in Church in the company of others. Beginning with Morning and Evening Prayer, can be a realistic way to be engaged in the work of a daily discipline of prayer.
We should start each day with a sense of penitence and with the understanding that we continue to struggle in so many and varied ways. It is so easy to lapse into patterns of behavior that damage those we love and others around us. It is equally easy to become preoccupied with what we do not have, that we fail to appreciate everything we have. It is so easy to dwell on our insecurities and anxieties that we crush any joy out of the current moment. Let
us therefore learn to shift our ground and try to live in this moment today and free ourselves from the destructive power of the past.
Each day we must prepare ourselves for the gift of praising God and invite God to deal with our past by creating a clean heart and a right spirit within us. The older we get the more likely it is that almost every day we offer back to God moments when we really failed. God has the authority to forgive, and God can create the fresh start. Similarly, through the power of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus on this day, our God gives us the power to transform the past and the present, and to liberate us for the future.
With all good wishes and prayers, for a happy, blessed and peaceful Easter Season!
From: Archdeacon Emeritus and Family