I guess that being back in England for a little while may give me some more jolts of joy like the one I received last Sunday. We went back to the Arbury Road Baptist Church, Cambridge, where my father became minister way back in the early 1960's. I have only been back a handful of times, including my mother's funeral in 1979. During my father's ministry a new church was built and my youthful memory is packed with positive memories of friends, activity and worship.
What was the jolt of joy at Easter 2013, over 50 years later? It wasn't just being greeted as people remembered my father, amd sometimes me. Stories came tumbling out. One of the first was from a man for whom I was best man in 1966, and several others reminded me of great times past. I was amazed at the saints still going strong, including a fellow bass who kept me company in the choir (and is now 102 years old). Now, of course, it is wonderful hearing affirming stories about our past, isn't it?
But what really thrilled me to the core was how still committed heart and soul to their Lord and to this fellowship these friends remain. Through some tough times they have never given up. When I commented to one of the women who was in the youth group with me, that it was extraordinary to see how many of them had stayed together, she said: 'This is where we belong. This is our community. Your father would be so proud'. Actually I think the Easter Lord is pleased too! When you have traveled around like me, it is humbling to be reminded of those who have labored in the same spot together for a lifetime, united in faith and service as a community of Easter people.
This really gave me an Easter buzz. I hope you have enjoyed some Easter experiences where you are, and that you continue to live in Easter joy.