Groundhog Day

Someone said to me – somewhat glumly – that, at the moment, every day feels like Groundhog Day. A reference to the 1993 Harold Ramis classic film of the same name, starring Bill Murray as Phil, a weatherman whose assignment to cover the annual ceremony at Gobbler’s Knob turns into a kind of purgatory after he is caught in a time loop, repeatedly reliving the same day: doomed to endlessly experience again the same 24 hours.

There is always the danger of reading too much into any one book or in this case a film script but it’s worth noting that the film’s central character, the narcissistic Phil, confronts his situation with denial, frustration, gluttony and despair, but ultimately with selfless compassion and kindness. At the end of the day he is redeemed by love: his shallow attempts to seduce his beautiful producer (Andie MacDowell) morph into sincere affection. The insincere becomes the authentic.

With the news that lockdown restrictions in the country will continue for “at least” another three weeks as we tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the idea that each day becomes a groundhog day is more than understandable: behind the country’s front doors one day can seem very much like any other.

The challenge though continues to be the same: caring for one another and for ourselves; making sure that we are safe and ensuring the safety of others; looking after one another physically, mentally and spiritually. With that comes an acknowledgement that we are one humanity with one need, we face the same challenges, as Pope Francis has written in Urbi et Orbi about Jesus calming the storm: ‘We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disorientated.’

During these groundhog days may we in prayer, quiet service and in the reading and hearing of God’s word grow as Christians in love for one another; by so doing enabling us to live our lives – when this threat is passed and one day follows after another – with greater justice and compassion and kindness for one another.

JOHN PATRICK, SUBDEAN

Worship & Mission

Live streamed service on Sunday
Following the success of our live service on Easter Sunday, which has so far been seen by more than 4,000 people around the world, there will be another live service this Sunday morning.
It will be led by the Subdean and you can watch from our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Lincoln.Cathedral or the website.

Sacred Space
With the Cathedral closed, the Sacred Space service planned for this Sunday (19 April) has moved to the website. There will be a selection of reflections, poems and interactive resources to help you create your own sacred space in your home.
You will be able to find them in our Home Worship Resources section from 12noon on Sunday https://lincolncathedral.com/worship-music/home-worship-resources/

As always, we continue to encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will also be posting prayers, videos and more information about the Cathedral.

Community

Volunteer Announcement: Death of The Revd Bill Williams
It is with great sadness we inform you of the death of Bill Williams on Easter Sunday following a short period of illness.

Bill was a much valued and knowledgeable Cathedral Tower Guide for many years. Bill and his wife Jenny both volunteered as Tower Guides and their enthusiasm encouraged many others to volunteer, including their daughter Vicki and her partner Mark. Bill was always happy to share his knowledge and experience as a guide with new volunteers and he will be sorely missed.

We hold Bill, Jenny, Vicki and Mark and the rest of their family and friends, in our thoughts and prayers

Peregrines
Our resident Peregrine Falcons have once again laid eggs in their scrape on the central tower. There may be three or four; it is tricky to tell at the moment. They are expected to hatch in the first week of May, so keep an eye on the webcam. You can find it by clicking http://www.lincolnperegrines.stream or just go to YouTube and search for Lincoln Peregrines.

The Revd Rachel Revely writes…
In isolation, I wonder whether any of you, like me, woke up on Easter Sunday feeling trapped in the uncomfortable space between the darkness of Holy Saturday and the joy of Easter Morning; somewhere on the outside looking in, Easter joy almost palpable but just out of arms’ reach. I experienced this on Sunday and guilt started to resonate that I was not able bravely and joyfully to step into this day of new life. I felt pulled back to the darkness of Saturday, the tomb, the grief.

Yet… I believe Jesus has risen, the tomb is empty, love has triumphed, sins are forgiven and death has been defeated but in these “unprecedented” times apart from our communities, friends and families, I have found it takes much more effort than normal to be joyful, to rejoice. But that is okay, I do not believe this makes us any less faithful. Joyful resurrection moments do not happen all at once and the resurrection is not confined to one day.

Our scripture teaches us that none of the resurrection encounters happens at the exact moment of resurrection, they happen over minutes, hours, days and weeks afterwards. Resurrection moments are moments of encounter with God, moments of transformation, moments where the grace of God is made visible. Mary’s grief turned to joy at the sound of her name and the disciples in the upper room see Jesus walk through their door of isolation and fear to breathe on them peace. But for Thomas, this is a week later, Jesus appears especially to let him touch his wounds and gives him the gift of overwhelming, triumphant faith. Then there is Peter whose resurrection moment happens, after that first day has passed, on a beach when Jesus transforms his three denials into three statements of love: guilt washed away and replaced by forgiveness.  All of these resurrection moments are not instantaneous, they are moments of encounter with the living God who is always in our midst, the God who will meet us where we are and let us see his presence breaking through like with the disciples at Emmaus.

Since Easter Sunday, I have started writing one thing I am grateful for each day, one moment where a glimmer of joy or hope broke through, whether that be a phone call with a friend, a friendly socially distanced encounter with someone in my daily exercise or even just a moment of pure tranquillity in the sun. In all of these small moments, I found grace and encounter and even in isolation, I am tiptoeing towards the joy of Easter morning. No matter where you are or how you are feeling in this strange time know our God is eternal, our God saves and our God transforms us into Easter people.

Bible Readings

Sunday 19 April
Second Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 2: 14a, 22-32
1 Peter 1: 3-9
John 20: 19-end

Mattins
Exodus 12: 1-17
1 Corinthians 5: 6b-8

Evening Prayer
Daniel 6: 1-23
Mark 15: 46-16:8

—–

Sunday 26 April
Third Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 2: 14a, 36-41
1 Peter 1: 17-23
Luke 24: 13-35

Mattins
Isaiah 40: 1-11
1 Peter 5: 1-11

Evening Prayer
Haggai 1: 13-2.9
1 Corinthians 3: 10-17

—–

Sunday 3 May
Third Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Acts 2: 42-end
1 Peter 2: 19-end
John 10: 1-10

Mattins
Nehemiah 9: 6-15
1 Corinthians 10: 1-13

Evening Prayer
Ezra 3: 1-13
Ephesians 2: 11-end