This Easter has been all about service, about being prepared to serve whenever and wherever you are called to do so. It doesn’t matter what age you are and where you are, God has a role for you.
I only caught the end of our Maunday Thursday service, but the theme under discussion was about serving, about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. We were joined by friends from other churches and after the service one of the people who comes to Filling Station wandered in seeking some food, something to drink and someone to talk to. He’s well known to us, has problems with addiction and housing, family and benefit issues. He freely admitted that he was under the influence of something, yet despite that was confident that he would not be turned away and that his friends from West View would listen, advise and most importantly help without judging. I have no idea what our guests thought of this character who came in, hugged a couple of people, sat down and promptly demolished handfuls of cakes and biscuits, all the while talking as if he couldn’t stop. I know what our church members thought though. They raided the freezer and kitchen cupboards to put together a bag of food for the family, listened to what was going on, offered advice and prayer and organised for follow up meetings to help with the current situation.
This servant spirit for me certainly continued on into the Easter weekend as I did my usual town pastors shift, followed by a sunrise service and then my stint working the video side of our tech desk at church. I had a quiet tour with town pastors until at 3:10 am a young man came seeking views as to what it meant to be a Christian, what that meant for folks from other faiths, and where we would all end up. Our newest recruit to town pastors gave him some honest answers and I tried to share my own faith journey with him. We’re never sure what takes root in such conversations but we left him hopefully with some thoughts to mull over. The team eventually clocked off at 3:40 am. A couple of hours later I’m then up and on my way to a cold blustery sunrise service on the headland. Sadly I’ve not much in the way of photos from this as I forgot to put the memory card in my camera and my phone ran out of power. Clive Hall led this short service and did a great job competing against the awesome noise of the sea hitting the breakwater and sea wall. As always the atmosphere of the sunrise service is something special. A few dozen Christians remembering the dawn of the resurrection really sets the proper tone for Easter reflections. The bonus as always is the 3Bs… Bacon Butties at the Baptists. Headland Baptist church as always getting up early to serve hospitality to the rest of the Christian community who gathered to greet the new dawn of the greatest day in history. After a short time of fellowship I was on my way home. I managed to grab a quick hour of sleep before heading off to West View for the morning service. Tim led the service supported by Amanda and Jonny with Jonny’s cousin called in to serve as our drummer. The song choices were fantastic this morning, and Tim involved a lot of the young people in the service. Eleanor was also pressed into service to provide the artwork for our “family” tree where everyone at church was asked to add their names. With a little artistic licence we ended up with the resurrection story told by Lizzie as Mary Magdalene, the boys as Peter, the other disciple and the other, other disciple. They did a lot of running about. They were greeted by the girls as angels with red cowboy hats. All of our young people served to illustrate John’s version of events in Chapter 20, verses 1 to 18. It got across the real core of what Jesus expects from us. What we do for the least of his people we do for him. We focused on how Mary Magdalene recognised Jesus. It was when he said her name in only the way he could. In telling Mary to go and tell the others he was creating the first apostle, the first missionary. He was also summoning his church together, sharing and serving together as a family, calling God their father. And my short term plan… to borrow a phrase from a well known “blogger” , “and so to bed”