When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
The poem, ‘The Donkey’, is by G.K.Chesterton (1874-1936) and he emphasizies the humble, outcast nature of the donkey, but recently I was reading an article which painted a different picture. The author pointed out that the Hebrew word for ‘lowly’ used by the gospel writers “is actually a royal quality denoting how the person concerned is subservient and respectful to his god. Moses is so described in the Old Testament.”
In ancient times, although donkeys were much used to transport goods, they were ridden by kings and members of the elite and to draw their chariots. Donkeys were also used for sacrifice on important occasions and some have been discovered buried in Israel. In Roman times donkeys and mules were widely used and had been bred to produce taller animals than the contemporary horse.
G.K. Chesterton was a writer who is well known for his Father Brown stories and produced other novels such as ‘The Man who was Thursday’. He also wrote one of my favourite hymns. (Rejoice & Sing no 346).
‘Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me”’
(Matthew 16: 24)
In April this year, we continue our journey through Lent and on into Holy Week and Good Friday, and then, of course, our celebration of Easter. Breaking Bread has been a part of that this year, and in the coming weeks that might take on even more meaning for us.
In Holy Week we will be Breaking Bread at our Tenebrae Service as well as on Easter Sunday, sharing together, and with others, in the special meals of our faith. We’ll be remembering the Last Supper and all Jesus went through from then on. We’ll be celebrating the joy of Easter where the Breaking of Bread took on that new meaning in the disciples’ minds – a celebration meal.
Before those special times, we continue to remember Jesus’ last few weeks on earth. The words above from Matthew’s gospel come not long before Jesus sets His face towards Jerusalem, knowing the suffering He’ll experience there. His call to His disciples to “follow me” has a clear meaning that they are to follow Him to Jerusalem, to stay with Him, to give themselves, even suffering with Him if needs be.
Many Christians give up things for Lent so as to experience a little of the suffering Jesus went through then for us. Yet to the first disciples and to us, it is not a call to suffer for sufferings’ sake. It is a call before anything else to follow Him.
That call is still in the sense of standing by Him, going with Him where He wants us to go, following Him in what He wants us to do. That may be about standing up for our faith in Him, whatever that might bring, or to give of ourselves for the gospel’s sake, whatever that might entail. It might mean giving up things as we seek to serve others, to forget our own needs in favour of the needs of others and the Kingdom. That might mean we experience some suffering, or it might be that we experience the joy of giving or of seeing others blessed.
As we journey on through Lent and on to the joy of Easter let us follow Him wherever He wills, seeking His Kingdom first.
Love in Christ,
We return to our usual second Tuesday in the month date for our lunch in April, -Tuesday 9th – so we shall meet together at about 12.30pm for lunch at 1o’clock. All are welcome – just let us know if you would like to join us.
We shall share Afternoon Tea together on St. George’s Day, Tuesday, 23rd April meeting at 2.30pm, as we also remember Shakespeare on that day, come and celebrate your bit of ‘Englishness’ whether native or happily adopted!
Our monthly prayer meeting is on Wednesday 10th April, 10.30-11am, a time to draw aside for a short time in God’s presence to pray in the quiet together, for those in need and for our Church. If you can’t come to the Church, how about setting that time aside at home to pray.
Coffee & Conversation
Come and join in the conversation, continuing to share ideas on Breaking Bread:
Tuesday 16th April, 2pm
Wednesday 24th April, 7.30pm
Thank you to those who filled in the Worship Survey and to Roger and Janette Morley for collating it.
GOOD FRIDAY in my heart! Fear and affright!
My thoughts are the Disciples when they fled,
My words the words that priest and soldier said,
My deed the spear to desecrate the dead.
And day, Thy death therein, is changed to night.
Then Easter in my heart sends up the sun.
My thoughts are Mary, when she turned to see.
My words are Peter, answering, ‘Lov’st thou Me?’
My deeds are all Thine own drawn close to Thee,
And night and day, since Thou dost rise, are one.
Mary Elizabeth Coleridge
Easter Celebration with Communion:
Luke 24: 1-49
Holy Habits – meeting the risen Jesus in Breaking Bread
|At Headingley Methodist Church
Please let the relevant Elder know if you have a notice you wish to be read out in church that Sunday; if possible, by the previous Wednesday.
|FLOWERS FOR APRIL
|Mrs E Grant
|Mrs S South
|Mrs S Bollon
|Dr and Mrs D Nelson
|Mrs S Bollon
|At Headingley Methodist Church
Thank you, again, everyone for all your help. There are still some places on the Flower Calendar if you would like a particular Sunday.
EASTER COFFEE MORNING
Saturday 20th April 10.30am – 12 noon
It’s time to shake off the cobwebs, get your thinking caps on and create a masterpiece for our Easter coffee morning. Tea, coffee, hot cross buns and of course good company always available. Please join us, you don’t have to be creative, sociable will do.
CHURCHES TOGETHER in HEADINGLEY
Events through Lent and Holy Week:
Lent Lunches continue on Fridays at 12.15 for a 12.30 start in Headingley Methodist Church Hall.
The Theme this year is ‘Encountering Jesus’ and the Speaker on the 5th April is Mrs Jill Jones and on the 12th April Mr David Flowers.
The Lent Study Courses continue on Wednesdays commencing at 7.30pm in St. Chad’s C of E Parish Centre (Drummond Room) until 10th April and in St. Michael’s C of E Parish Hall until 17th April.
Please see the Notice Board for further details.
Service of Tenebrae will be held at Headingley St. Columba on Thursday evening 18th April.
The Good Friday Walk of Witness will follow a slightly different pattern this year. The Walk will include a short act of Worship/Reflection at 3 different Churches starting at Headingley St. Columba where all will gather at 10.30am. The walk will then proceed to St. Michael’s Church at 10.45am and then to South Parade Baptist Church at approx 11.15am and finally to Headingley Methodist Church for refreshments at 11.40am approx. Small Easter Eggs, together with a CTH Card, will be handed out as we walk.
Please may I have all articles for the next edition by Sunday, 14th April either directly to me or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Spa Scarborough
Wednesday 8th May 2019 11.30am – 4pm
Revd Kevin Watson, Synod Moderator
Mr Chris Powell, ‘Trash to Treasure’
Revd Clare Davison, Worship Leader
‘Seaside Uke Strummers’
Please see Joan McShane if you would like to attend.
Travel and lunches will be booked in advance.