Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Monday

The prayers this month come from the George Appleton (General Editor)  Oxford Book of Prayer.  Oxford, 1989.  Prayers from this book are noted with the Prayer number at the end of the prayer.  These are ancient and modern prayers...  prayers prayed by centuries of Christians to the fullness of life in God.   Alleluia.

Monday April 1     Easter Monday
Prayer:   Christ is risen from the dead.  Alleluia.  Christ is risen to forgive our sins.  Alleluia.   Christ has risen so that we have new life in God.  Alleluia.   Today may we live this day knowing that we are made new.   Alleluia!

Read St Luke 11: 5 – 9

Christ is risen.  Christ is risen indeed! 

In the stores today,  Easter items and candy are now on the 50% off tables.  In the Churches,  the season of Lent and Easter is completed for another year. Easter bulletin covers are put back into storage until next year.    

Is Easter only the one day long?  Do we only celebrate the Resurrection of Christ for one day and then that is it?    For Christians,  we continue with the Easter Season for another seven weeks!    We continue learning about the life and teachings of Jesus, the Apostles,  and those who have created the Church as it is today. 

In our readings,   Jesus continues teaching the disciples about prayer by telling them this story of a friend  who asks another friend for three loaves of bread because yet another friend has journeyed to the first friend’s house.  Out of hospitality,  the first friend must  provide his travelling friend with food… yet he has none.    But when he knocks on the door of his friend,  the friend will not open up the door and won’t share his food.  So the first friend stands at his friend’s  door late at night,  knocking until the friend comes to the door.    The friend answers from his bed and yells, “Don’t bother me.  The door’s locked, my children are all down for the night;  I can’t get up to give you anything” (The Message  St Luke 11: 7  NavPress, 2005)  
Jesus says that the first friend should continue knocking on his friend’s door to help him in his plea for hospitality.    Don’t give up.  Keep knocking on that door.  Knock so long that you will wake up the neighbours,  who in turn will rouse the friend from his comfortable bed to help out his friend with three loaves of bread.  
What is Jesus telling the disciples about prayer?    Not to give up in prayer.  To keep on praying.   To ask for love and peace.  To seek forgiveness.   To come back to God each and everyday in prayer.   

For those who work in Military Museums,  Easter Monday is always a reminder of the WW1  Battle of Vimy Ridge.  The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on 9 April 1917 at 5:30am on an Easter Monday.    The infantry had been in place since the evening before and were instructed to not cook,  not smoke,  minimum talking,  and to not attach their bayonets to their rifles.    And so for many long hours into the night,  the Canadian Infantry sat in the mud waiting for morning to come so they could go to battle.   
While Battles are always horrid,  out of the horridness of war always will come stories of  forgiveness and compassion.

The Commanding Officer of 78th Battalion,   LCol James Kirkcaldy,  was a Presbyterian.  In reading over his War Diary notes  from the Battle of Vimy Ridge,  we are always struck by the fact that he never called the Germans by name nor would he ever call the Germans derogatory names.   LCol James Kirkcaldy would write the words “the enemy”.     By doing so,  he left the Germans with dignity.

With this day,  Easter Monday,  remember in your prayers to ask for love and peace within  your community and world…. remember  in your prayers to seek forgiveness…  remember in your prayers to ask God to give you the wisdom to leave those who confront you and get angry with you with dignity so that they too can see the love of God proclaimed.

Christ is risen.  Christ is risen indeed.

Prayer:  Almighty God,  through Your only begotten Son,  You have forgiven us and given us eternal life.   Hallelujah. Hallelujah.  We thank You for this tremendous gift.  We humbly ask You to put into our minds and hearts a desire to share the Good News of the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting to those we meet each and every day.  So that together with everyone in the whole world we can declare:  Christ is risen.  Christ is risen indeed.   Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment