This Week at Trinity, Beamsville
Friday, April 1, 2022
This week’s musings are going to arrive on your screens right in the middle of a day I met with mixed emotions as a child. Acquainted with, or related to, many year-round pranksters and practical jokers, having a day dedicated to elaborate schemes was almost more than my watchful eyes could bear. It was all in good fun, of course, but I was always glad to quote my mother’s ‘must happen before noon’ rule. Maybe she just made that up in mercy, but inevitably it came as relief to let my guard down a little, for a while.
I also have mixed memories of one April Fools’ Day, on a school day, when I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry in reply. It was in Grade Three: a year defined by a bully who had made me her regular target. I distinctly remember stepping off the bus, rounding the corner to the schoolyard, when she ran up to me with great delight, announcing her family wasn’t moving after all and she didn’t have to switch schools. My very quiet, very ungenuine response was something like, “Oh, that’s great,” while inside my stomach churned. Before I could figure out what to say next, she hollered, “April Fools’! You’re too easy!” and ran away to try it on someone else. Several weeks later, they did move, and I never saw her again… although I’ve wondered, often, how life turned out, for them all. What I did not know until many years later was the depth of her and her family’s poverty, and their struggle for stable employment and safe housing. I’ll never condone how she pushed and preyed, on me and several others, but I have a softer heart now, for what it might have been like behind that brash and bravado. I wonder what could have been, especially in her early years, had this world felt kinder, less uphill all the time, more of a welcoming community than a source of continuous uncertainty.
This Sunday we’re going to consider, again, where we might fall in it all, here and now. As Easter people, slowly making our way to Jerusalem with Jesus, there’s a renewed level of attention required; a re-consideration of what it means to live in a world of conflict. Bullies persist, writ large as tyrants on a global scale, with extraordinary trauma in their wake. Daily encounters, at school, work and maybe home, remind us that others might prefer us to be silent.
And so it is that we’re going to come to the question that guides us this Lent – this question of our purpose, as a church, as a body of Jesus followers – and seek to understand it through the lens of ‘marturia’ and ‘koinonia’. Those words aren’t in my daily vocabulary, that’s for sure, but I pray they’re part of my daily speaking and living. Somehow, it’s all about getting us closer to that place where we are, bravely, unabashedly, fools for Christ. God knows what mercy it might bring to a troubled heart – and God certainly trusts us with that possibility.
With love to you all,
p.s. don’t forget, if you’d like another way to invite your friends and neighbours into this community, this church in which they, too are welcomed, no matter what, why not forward on this year’s Lent video, customized just for Trinity Beamsville. You can watch it again here. You can share it far and wide, knowing God’s love has room for everyone.
“I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it.
I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”
(C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair)