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An Easter Message ...finding meaning in friendship

We closed this term with our Easter Service

With Easter being so early this year, it provided a real and meaningful reason to look at the last days that Jesus lived and lessons that come out of these final days regardless of our faith.

When planning this service, I was delighted to be joined by Clara Belraj, Zara Dieobi, Alex Gong and Jay Raithatha who all offered their own ideas and reflections on the Easter message.

Mr Ford wrote an Easter Hymn that aims to unify stories from other faiths, helping to bring us together. It was truly moving to hear the entire school singing this as our middle hymn.

The chorus from a beautiful hymn written by Mr Ford
This is my 6th Easter Service and I have always tried to find new meaning and stories that are relevant to our community. This year, we talked about the hurtful human parts of friendship in the last 24 hours of Jesus' life and how we could rethink friendship in the future.

At the Last Supper, Judas left the meal to betray Jesus for money.

Perhaps there have been times when we have put other priorities ahead of our friendships?

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples to keep him company as he prayed - but they fell asleep.

Perhaps there have been times when we have not necessarily listened to our friends and ignored simple things that have asked?

At the Last Supper, Jesus told Peter that he would deny knowing him 3 times in the coming day. Peter, a fiercely loyal disciple, could not believe this and yet the following day, it happened.

Perhaps there have been times in our lives when we have not stood up for a friend?

As Jesus faced a number of trials with elders and the occupying Romans, he was dressed in a robe and given a crown of thorns. He suffered pain and humiliation.

Perhaps there have been times when we have been caught up in the crowd and not listened to a stronger voice? This might have led to pain and humiliation to a friend

At the Last Supper, Jesus asked those gathered to love one another as he had loved them.

Then surely friendship is a strong and powerful message for this Easter, regardless of our faith. I know that I have certainly failed on all of the above at one time or another, but in studying the life of a remarkable man, Jesus certainly offers me a great deal of strength and lessons to refresh my soul!
And finally, if friends have let us down from time to time, let us take the ultimate lesson from this time of year - forgiveness. In my experience, those who can forgive others tend to have open hearts and they find joy and happiness in the world around them...
Happy Easter holiday to our Orley Community...help us live out these messages of love, friendship and hope...

Tim Calvey

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