THANKSGIVING TONIGHT FOR KATH, who died peacefully on Valentine’s Day. Thanksgiving for a gentle-woman who never stopped loving her late husband, or her children, grandchildren, or a host of friends. Thanksgiving for a person whose heart offered hospitality and who was possessed, her son-in-law told us, of excitement and imagination, all her life. What a thrilling reflection at funeral thanksgiving, and then again in making Eucharist tonight, upon a person’s having possessed (or been possessed by) excitement and imagination. What a thrilling thought that Kath and Neil will have revelled in reunion on Valentine’s Day! How could we not offer thanks to Almighty God who is Excitement and Imagination in its unimaginable fullness. Lift up your eyes, said Jesus. And people’s imaginations blossomed and they became excited about life again. Here and now and for ever and ever.
THANKSGIVING TONIGHT FOR ESTHER, who one year ago led us in the first of our 2009 Lenten Studies by calling us to prayer. Thanksgiving for a young and energetic priest whose excitement and imagination showed us that Jesus is standing right next to us, loving us unconditionally, even whilst He is the breath within us. Until her own prayer, and her own response to it, led her on to exciting and imaginative times among other disciples in Holy Trinity, Knaresborough. How could we not offer thanks tonight? Dozens of us will never embark upon Lenten studies again without recalling Esther’s bracing, challenging, chuckling, energetic, straight-talking, all-including loving. We blossomed and became excited about life again. We thanked God for her new fellow pilgrims and imagined Knaresborough come the Spring.
THANKSGIVING TONIGHT FOR ALISON who followed the path of love to Australia and who, even whilst celebrating love and a host of life-affirming gifts from God, knows also the pain of being far from “home” and the universal wrench of having to let go of some gifts only she was ever aware of. And I found myself able to give thanks for love’s ups and downs alike. For Alison, too, is gifted with excitement and imagination. Flowers will bloom about her paths and many a surprising blessing lies ahead of her. Dominus flevit – Jesus wept – before his eternal Spring came tumbling into the world, showing us forever that eternal Spring was created for those on earth “as in Heaven”.
TWELVE MODERN-DAY LEARNERS – twelve modern-day disciples – gathered around our family table, gave thanks for Eucharist being made at family-tables and sofas in “every continent and island”. And we took the bread and wine that Jesus gave, to us and to all humankind, and He, and we, and Kath, and Esther, and Alison were caught up in a holy communion.