Re-posted with permission.
Dear Congregations,I feel very lucky to have a found a great reason to tell stories, to children who are prepared to listen!We all surely have had this great experience at one time or another, and in these stories we learn, time and again, about truth, that it is hidden in the stories, we learn it through the stories as children, and as adults when we tell them we can have a lovely reminder of the way truth works in us and in the world.That morality always conquers immorality, and that if you do something to help others it always seems to work out in your favour.The so-called foolish brother, the simpleton, who always tells the truth – he cannot do otherwise and we love him for that, in doing so is tested – he suffers fear and anxiety, he has to undergo big challenges requiring different acts of bravery, or common sense to prove himself and always somehow comes through successfully – usually winnning the beautiful princess and in time ruling over her Father’s land as King.Then there are the stories of faeries, leprechauns, gnomes and hobs; the little folk, those elemental beings that represent the life of the earth. They are invisible and they only show themselves to and help those who are kind and honest and true of heart, those with a genuine interest in the good. Usually the soul who has respected and helps them wins a lifetime of good fortune.[This week’s gospel reading is John 16:1-33.]Many significant things in our lives are invisible, and even though we don’t see them, we do surely feel the effects of them; warmth of love, the integrity of goodness, radiant beauty, and the strength and potential and clarity that lives in truth.Our own soul is also invisible, living in the hidden realm we do not see, but we can decide to reach for these invisible truths, understand them and discover that something changes inside us.Christ also lives there, in this hidden realm, and we can perceive his presence through our contact with each other, reflected another person – something that many of us are really missing in this time of forced isolation. The love we have for and acknowledgement of each other, in truth, in trust, in the inspiration we give and receive, our conscience, our inner instinctive feeling for what is right.Truth sheds light and clarity, whereas untruths create inexplicable confusing shadows that don’t quite hang together and hold us back.Our truth, of being here, doing our human work and time on the earth is far bigger than we can perceive.Christ came to enlarge our view of our world, to guide and enliven us, and to unite us (again) with the spiritual world, with the angelic realms, where we can connect to our loved ones who have died. Uniting with this love of Christ we have the possibility to find our way forward.This Easter season is nearly over, the Eastertide gospels have given us once again a journey through huge soul landscapes; from the fear and astonishment of the women at the tomb, the disbelief and joy of the disciples at the resurrection, and the assurances of Christ’s closeness to us, our shared ‘I am’ as the good shepherd, the door, and the true vine of all life.Soon we will be thinking about and celebrating Christ’s Ascension, and ten days after that, the beautiful white summer festival of Whitsun.The spring blossoms have held on so long this year in this beautiful weather, sometimes called ephemerals because their beauty appears for a short joyful time and quickly disappear to leave space for the fruits of the future.Christ gave his disciples this time between Easter and Ascension, now, we, who follow the Christian year can take the significance of this for ourselves, year after year.By Whitsun He will still be present but hidden, while keeping His promise to send the healing spirit of love and understanding, the spirit of truth, so that it can live in our human souls and blossom into fruits of love, truth, comfort, understanding that we can, in time, sow as deeds of love in the world.So while we endure these times of uncertainty and anxiety we can dare to be hope that this suffering, like the younger simpleton brother, is a necessary part of our human journey, when joy and beauty might disappear for a little while, but return again when the fruits of love and radiant beauty has ripened.We are still here, thinking of you all, and looking forward to reuniting in some way in the near future. The fruits of the time we have spent away from the altar, away from our times when we would normally meet together will surely ripen and be sweet.Wishing you a relaxed weekend warm and cold as the weather continues to tease us.Very best wishesSiobhán