Roller-coasters! The thrill of the ride, the ups and downs, the stomach churning twists and turns, the Adrenalin that flows through your body. I love them!!!
A couple of years ago we were privileged to go to Florida for our summer holiday. My parents took the whole family to Disneyland for a holiday of a lifetime. It was incredible, we loved every minute of it, but I particularly loved the roller-coasters!! The rides were brilliant. I suppose, you could say, I’m a bit of an adrenalin junky! I enjoy the thrill of things being slightly out of my control! Being out of my comfort zone. I think perhaps because it’s then that you’re most ‘switched on’ or put another way, your senses are on high alert. You feel alive!
The thing about a roller coaster is you’ve got to commit to it. Once you’re on the ride, there’s no going back. You can’t stop half way through and get off. You’re on it for the duration. In a sense you become a part of the story. Usually you’re not on your own, there’s plenty of others to enjoy the experience with you. In fact, it’s the thrill of journeying with others that can make it an even better experience.
And it’s the idea of giving something of yourself, committing something of yourself and joining with others that I want to pick up on. The image of a roller-coaster is one that comes to mind throughout the period of Lent and Easter. It certainly is a time when our emotions are turned upside down by the reality of Good Friday and the joy of Easter day.
The journey of Lent leads us to the climax of the Easter season, Easter day. When we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and the gift of new life (a personal relationship) with God today and everyday, if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
During Lent, can I encourage you to reflect on your personal faith, to spend more time with God in prayer, study and worship, as together we remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the cross. God invites us to join him on this journey, it’s the adventure called faith! When we come to faith we receive God’s Spirit in our lives and assisted by the Spirit, we are invited to step out, to look, to listen and follow him as he leads. He might take us places we’ve never been before, He might take us out of our comfort zones, but through the journey you will feel more ‘alive’ in him as he continues to mould and shape you.
There is no promises that life will be a bed of roses just because we become Christians, there will still be many ‘ups and downs’, but the beauty is we’re not on our own. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us, but we are in it together, with our Christian brothers and sisters! We’re invited to give something of ourselves, to enjoy the journey, to share with others and where we can, to bless others.
As we journey through Holy Week, my prayer is that we may look to Christ and go deeper with him as we head to Easter day. To find the joy and the riches that Christ offers each one of us – new life in him!! My prayer is that, (in the same way as we become part of the Roller coasters story), you may indeed become part of the greatest story ever told, the Easter story. That we may become God’s Easter people, forgiven, restored, filled by his Spirit and set free to live for him.
May you experience the joy of the Risen Lord Jesus this Easter. I look forward to seeing you in and around the parish.