Rev Marian Olsen writes: Many of us have been particularly shocked by the images coming from Ukraine. With conflict in various places, the increasing cost of living and the urgent necessity to combat climate change, the Easter message of hope and new life may seem particularly hard to grasp hold of.
In Holy week, Christians remember the suffering Jesus endured as he experienced loneliness, pain, rejection by his own people, mockery and execution. Jesus has been there before us and understands what it is like, however hard the situation we find ourselves in. We also see the hope to come: the glimpse of Easter Sunday and a new beginning.
Hope goes a long way. We hope that things will get better. We hope our team will win. It keeps us going. Our local newspaper brings us stories of hope with communities and individuals working hard to make a difference where it is needed.
We can each find ways to offer hope to those around us with an act of kindness or a listening ear. We may give to the local food bank or support the hospice or other local charities. We may feel that we are the one in need of hope and it is the community around us who we look to for help.
Whatever Holy week means to us, I hope that those who are in need of hope will find it and those who are able to will make a difference by bringing hope to someone else. For people of faith, when the world feels dark, we look to God for light.
Sometimes what we are called to do is to keep walking on through the dark, alongside each other, with God, trusting in the hope of light to come.
For all of us, as we look to the needs of others, it helps us to see the possibilities which community offers as together we find hopeful ways of living.
Rev Marian Olsen
Cleckheaton Methodist Church
Representing Churches Together in Dewsbury