I have a background mourning feeling at the moment, which has persisted through the last few days. There’s a lot going on in my life at present, and I’ve been unsure what the cause is, but this morning I think I worked it out…

The UK has just enjoyed a warm and sunny 4-day weekend, a throwback to the shared religiosity of our past. It’s been very pleasant; a good time for Andrea and I to begin to bring a little order to the chaos of our new flat, and to enjoy London at its best. We’ve had a nice weekend, but what we haven’t had is the kind of experience Phil and Jude are talking about…

Yes, we’ve just had Easter (or Resurrection Day, as it was jokingly called at church on Sunday). This is the time where Christians from all over the world gather together to remember the suffering, the death and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It is probably the most important religious festival we have; the message of the Cross and the Empty Tomb are definitely the centre of the Christian faith. Yet once again I come to the end of another Christian festival with a strong lingering sense of disappointment, purely because of how I celebrated it…

You can say a lot of things about City Gates (the church Andrea and I are part of), but I think most people who are part of this imperfect Christian community would agree that we are not at our best when it comes to church festivals. While Phil and Jude, and I’m sure many other friends, enjoyed guided meditations and reflections, mourning and celebration over the course of the long weekend, we had a rather lack-lustre service, with far below our usual complement of attendees. It was fun, it was informal, it was everything City Gates is at its best… but I am sure now, that it wasn’t what my heart was longing for.

We live in a society that pays casual homage to its roots, but has all-but forgotten the meaning of the days we celebrate (all but 2 of the UK’s Bank Holidays are based on Christian festivals, or the celebrations around them). And much of the church in this country seems to have forgotten quite why we do what we do as well. City Gates is part of a stream of churches that moved away from the ecclesial calendar out of a rejection of how meaningless it had become – how I wish they had instead sought to make those calendar days more meaningful.  

When am I going to learn that I need to plan and prepare my own meditations and celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost; so as not to be so disappointed again?

I mourn because I have not taken time to remember the sacrifice He made. If that is true for you too, then I invite you to take some time with me now.

God bless


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