Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
Thank you for all the Easter greetings via email and cards, so amazingly thoughtful of you all. Thanks too to all those who have been in touch about the service and my sermon on Easter Day: you'll find a link to it here:
A number of you have written to me telling me that you are finding it hard to pray right now - a club I'm willing to confess to being a member of. I know that many are finding a wonderful connection via our online streamed Sunday services, and the daily Morning Prayer and Compline. I am genuinely delighted. For some of you who are finding it hard to pray for yourselves, engaging with the voice of another leading prayer is a real support and strength.
But I am one of those for whom it just doesn't work. The technology which proves to be a gift for many is a barrier for me. It makes me feel more, not less detached, both from God, and from my community. It's been a difficult but important piece of spiritual learning, and I am having to live with it and learn from it. What is certain is the daily office of Morning and Evening Prayer is essential scaffolding, holding me up at a time when I need repair and restoration. Easter is a good time for repair and restoration.
As well as the Daily Office, I need poetry. Poetry has been important for me since my late teens, but never more so than now. Poetry is a vital source of life, comfort, and challenge. On Monday morning I used Malcolm Guite's new poem Easter 2020 as part of Morning Prayer, and I know that many of you were moved by it: you'll find it here, beautifully read by the poet himself https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2020/04/12/easter-2020-a-new-poem/
Other poems have been important too, old friends and new discoveries. Martyn Percy, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, has introduced me to a text by the 20th-century Irish poet John O'Donohue (1956-2008). I keep revisiting it, addictively, finding extraordinary resonance in both my present mood and our present context. Let us all seek to remain generous until the time comes good.
This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.