Easter Day began with the Easter Eucharist at Holy Cross, followed by breakfast. It was a delight to have the Reverend Jacintha Penney preside at the Table. The Honorary Assistant, Bishop Eddie Marsh, just arrived back after being snow bound on route back to Eastport from parts west.
In rural ministry one moves from one community of faith to another. This Easter I presided at four Easter Eucharists. First, as above, I was at Eastport, then Sandringham, Burnside, and Salvage. In each of the churches memorials were given, this also took place during the Vigil at St Chad's, in memory of loved ones.
Two pastoral visits were also made in the midst of the services.
As we celebrated the Resurrection with many HalleluYahs the congregations heard the story of Abbott Marcus. Abbott Marcus every Easter prayed for those of the monastery and outlying community as follows:
First: he prayed for those who believe, and live in faith.
Second: he prayed for those who have doubts yet they believe, or are struggling to believe like the rest.
Third: he prayed for those who wonder about all this talk of heaven and the resurrection of a man from the dead.
Fourth: he prayed for those who do not believe – those who have given up on God.
Throughout all of Easter this is how Abbott Marcus prayed.
When we listen to the Gospel from Matthew for Easter we hear of those who are witnesses. In the reading from Acts we hear of more witnesses. In our hearts we ought to hear that we are witnesses today to those around us.
First: to those who believe, as we all need encouragement.
Second: to those who doubt, as we all need examples of faith.
Third: to those who wonder, they need to see the reason why.
Fourth: to those who refuse God, that they may recognize God in those who believe.
The Messiah said, "You are my witnesses."