Maundy Thursday 2020

Dear Friends,
I have just participated in a ‘Zoom’ Maundy Thursday service.
This is a programme on the internet to allow a number of people to join together and see each other.You may be aware of some stories on Social Media about Zoom (it is based in the USA) but we are assured as we join by password it is as safe as any other application on the‘Net!Perhaps also some of these ’stories’ have the same validity as 5G masts spreading the Corona virus !!!! (they don’t, because that is daft!)
Anyway, we had 153 people join +Philip; They were Deacons, Priests and Readers, who were able to access the wonders of Zoom on their computer, tablet or iphone.
In normal times we would have been together in the Cathedral to renew our vows, receive Communion and be anointed, as we rejoice together in what God calls us to do.
In this strange chapter of all our lives, we could only be ’together’ in the virtual world available by computer and Wi-Fi.
The service we joined in was very moving, as we could see each others faces, that is if you knew how to navigate the screen and remembered to mute your microphone so any mutterings were not heard by everyone!
We did renew our vows and the time of intercession was amazing as the voices of prayer were overlapping and heard by everyone as we prayed together.Of course we could not have a Communion, but we did exchange a virtual peace together!
The Bishop spoke to us and reminded us of Jesus washing feet. How this act of Our Lord was done in all humility.Making us think about the necessity of not having pride but humility to have our feet washed. For if we have not been washed, anointed ourselves, how can we wash the feet of others and in so doing anoint them?Those who claim Jesus as their way of life need to put aside all pretentions to dignity, to surrender themselves in order to serve.
As Jesus reminds us, He came not to be served but to serve.
In these alarming times, more than ever, we need to check that we are not hampered or impeded by our pride, but to be humble in our acceptance.Accepting that, as we have already heard, ’this too will pass’.
But especially today, to recall together the instruction to ’Take and eat’ ‘Drink this, all of you’ – In remembering Our Lord’s command, claiming the transformative power of that participation.Even if we cannot do this together or by the actual receipt of the sacred mystery, to eagrely anticipate it.
To approach this time of ‘lock down’ in all humilty and in our minds and prayers, follow Our Lord, for tommorrow we recall his trial and crucifiction.
As we move into Good Friday and the dark time of the Saturday of Easter, we know that a glorious Resurrection awaits.
I find it very hard to imagine too vividly the events of Good Friday – Yet in these times, perhaps our prayers need to be with and for everyone affected or affliceted with the virus that is rageing throughout the world.Even where we are anxious and lonely, to thank God for the safety in which we live compared to some in the world.
May God, the Almighty Father be with all those who lives are hanging on the edge of this mortal life, as His Son’s life was, and if it be His will to deliver them.Where some are gathered from the storm of life into the peace of the invisible world, may all those who grieve be held in the Palm of God’s Hand and glimpse and know a resurrection, where death is no more and all of us will be joined in our Eternal Home.
May Angels and Archangels surround you this day and the blessing of God be upon us all, evermore.