Peter's Blog

Easter 2014

Written by Peter Johnston on .

Here are a few images from the last few days in and around Ferryhill Kirk. We shared in a meal for Maundy Thursday in the foyer where we remembered the last supper before we headed down to the Memorial Chapel which had been transformed into the Garden of Gethsemane. My previous years of gazebo-erecting for The Easter Code came in right handy for this. We gathered in the dark, around 40 of us, with the smell of the greenery around, a single candle burning and we laid our own prayers before God just as Jesus prayed in the garden before his arrest. I found it very moving, personally speaking, to be reading the words of Jesus' prayer (I combined parts from John 17 and Matthew 26) as we gathered in the gloaming. However, I had not completely thought this through and we had to raise the illumination to see our song words for the final hymn we sang before leaving.

On Good Friday we created a labyrinth that was based on one I had included in the current issue of Spill the Beans and that is familiar to me. This was helpful for me to ease planning, though of course it was all new to the Worship Task Group who did a fantastic job sourcing all the props we used from the vast amounts of greenery, cloths of many shapes, hues and sizes, life-size dolls, bowls, stones, petals, mallets, and so on and so on. For the folks who attended, and we were are very pleased to see how many people came along to experience this journey to the cross, of all ages, I think this proved a very meaningful time. It has certainly prompted many conversations. 

This morning it was an early start at Duthie Park (I was out last night at Asda hunting down bottles of bubbles (not the fizzy kind!) so that we could have a bit of fun with those) for our sunrise service. This was new for me, as we did not have anything similar in Blantyre, though I remember trekking up the old burial mound in Inverurie many years ago early in the morning. It was a beautiful sunny morning, which lifted our spirits as we celebrated and then headed back to the church for a scrummy breakfast. Thanks to John McNeill from the Methodist Church for participating in that service too.

And then our communion service at 9:30 a.m. in which we had beautiful light streaming through the Piper Alpha memorial window and Adam and Eve in the Steele Memorial Window as we gathered around the table in the chapel. And then to the 11 a.m. service. Over breakfast we realised that there was no chalk, we had thought there was a tub at the church. So, in between services, having quickly popped home as I thought I had some here, I was back to Asda to get two tubs of pavement chalk. And a good thing it was two tubs as it was almost all used as everyone, young and old, got busy in decorating the pavements outside the church before our 11 a.m. service. What a brilliant job everyone did too. Some real creativity at work.

I enjoyed the family service, particularly trying to compete with the mob of children behind me decorating and filling their baskets with eggs as I attempted to give a wee message. The mayhem of tissue paper and nesting paper all over the chancel carpet was a sight to behold, but I was not alone to stare in amazement as the children after giving out their eggs to the congregation returned and tidied everything up, completely unprompted. Superb! It was also a chance for the Ferryhill Singers to lead us in song with a special anthem for Easter Day.

We celebrate at Easter because we recognise that with God all things are possible and that nothing, as Paul writes, can separate us from the love of God. Even when the world says "No!", God says, "Yes!" and that is worth celebrating, over and over again.

Have a wonderful Easter Day, one and all.

A huge thank you to everyone that helped over the last days, from the members of the Worship Task Group, for our flourishing florists, for the refreshments and food, the preparation of the foyer and sanctuary (with all the moving back and forth of furniture that entails) and for the willingness to try something different.

For me, now, a wee breath and time to catch up with family and friends today and tomorrow.

He is risen, he is risen indeed.