On Monday March 21st I was still feeling full of cold and streaming, so I was considering ringing my friend Christine to suggest we postpone meeting, when Christine rang to see if it was alright to meet and agreed it would be better to rearrange our meeting till I was better. Christine told me she had just recovered from a chest infection and I certainly did not want to risk her catching my flu-like cold. I look forward to seeing her in a few weeks time.
On Monday our builder finished building the walls and settling the roof beams in place on Tuesday ready for the delivery of the roof tiles. They began putting the roof tiles in place on Tuesday and by Wednesday afternoon the roof was finished and water tight. It was not worth starting to knock our kitchen wall down just before Easter Weekend, so they left ready to come back on Tuesday to continue.
On Wednesday Martyn our gardener came to do some tidying up and pruning of the buddleias and managed to navigate round the workmen. He was impressed to see the speed with which the roof was completed. It was good to see Martyn again and that the weather held until the roof was finally on.
On Thursday I was glad to have a quiet day and was pleased I was well enough to go to the Good Friday meditation. I had a coughing fit so I had to suck catarrh pastilles to settle my tickly throat and was unable to sing. I loved the meaningful service. We sang the whole of the Tree of Life hymn and the final candle was extinguished as a prayer was said for suffering children. I wished I could sing Mother’s favourite hymn, ‘My Song is love unknown’, but I daren’t start coughing again. Judith read Matthew 7.1-5. Trevor our minister read a reflection on how we cannot help judging. Of course when people commit crimes they need to be tried and judged and punished for their crimes. However we are not called to judge others; only God can judge. God gives us the Holy Spirit to build us and others up. We ask God to teach us how to love as he loves us wonderfully and unreservedly.
We sang ‘There is a green hill.’ Judith read John 12.1-9 about Mary’s anointing of Jesus. Christine read a meditation of Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Mary showed Jesus what he meant to her. David Hunt read Judas’ thoughts with his mixed motives; he saw the waste of Mary’s action, but Jesus turned on him not on Mary. Later Judas recognised that Jesus cared for all people, not just the poor, even for a worthless wretch like him. Jesus offered his life to give hope to all. How much are you willing to give in return if you love of Jesus?
We sang ‘Jesus in the olive grove’. David Hunt read a meditation on the washing of feet before the festival of the Passover. Jesus knew who was to betray him. Trevor described Peter’s reaction to the washing of the feet. It was only later Peter finally understood, that the last was the first, and the first last. Jesus humbled himself in life and death as the servant of all. Will you serve him in turn?
David and Christine read the accounts of the Garden of Gethsemane, the first trial with Ananias, Peter’s denial, and the trial of Caiaphas, and Pilate. We sang, ‘O the bitter shame and sorrow.’ Trevor then discussed the dilemma of Pilate. Pilate saw that Jesus did not have a case to answer, rather he saw him as harmless and misguided. Pilate felt unnerved by Jesus’ quiet assured replies. Who could he be? Was he a visitor from the Gods? He tried to set him free, but it was hopeless and he gave in; rather Jesus’ neck than his. Pilate had not slept since remembering Jesus’ gentle innocent face; there was no case against him but he had sent him to death. Pilate felt he would be judged in another kingdom.
Trevor led the prayers of intercession about showing compassion to others. We sang, ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’ We heard the description of the crucifixion of Jesus. We sat quietly and silently left the chapel when we felt ready. I found the service very moving.