As many of you know I am someone who likes to be creative: whether painting, carving or crafting, I’m generally trying to do something. Not surprisingly that is true of my prayer life as well, so I tend to journal, paint, carve and weave during my devotional time.
This past Wednesday morning I woke up and after a bit of a groggy start let the New Testament fall open and found myself in the last chapter of Mark with Mary, Mary and Salome heading to the tomb of Jesus and wondering who will roll the stone away for them so they can anoint his body.
Like many of you, I sometimes get discouraged, or wake up and look at the latest political or natural disaster, and want to go back to bed, asking myself what is the point?
I asked myself, of all the details to note about what the women were thinking, why did the writer of Mark write that they were wondering about the stone and who would roll it away. Perhaps it is because they were being practical, or maybe it was because we humans generally have a way of looking for problems and hurdles before we reach them, which might stop us trying.
As it was the stone had been rolled away for them, Jesus had risen and an angel told them the good news. What are the stones that I image need rolling away, that I worry about, that stop me from accepting and knowing the good news?
I thought about the Open Church Ministry and the difference that the open doors on a Wednesday is making. I also reflected on the times I have been discouraged in ministry here at St. James’. Sure it happens, but God, without fail, rolls away those stones and people in the neighbourhood like a coffee shop owner I ran into recently, tell me things like: “it lifted my spirits to see the doors open on my way in.” I pray for our various ministries here and each Wednesday for the people who will visit this holy place before I arrive. I pray that people will meet Jesus here in the ministry team and in this place.
This week we made hot tea and had colouring pages out for children and adults alike. A woman with two young toddlers arrived and had tea with us, coloured, and then went on. A woman came by for tea and gave testimony about her experience with anger and forgiveness and I was blown away. God is at work everywhere and always, even here at St. James’.
I invite you once again, to consider becoming part of this ministry and see what it looks like when stones are rolled away. Come and see.