Church of England Diocese of York Barmston with Fraisthorpe

Richard's Article in Village Voice

9 May 2020, 5 p.m.

This all feels so strange, doesn’t it? On the one hand, we’ve been enjoying beautiful Spring weather, the roads are quiet, the beaches nearly deserted, and most people have more time to watch TV, do the garden, read books, bake, do jigsaws, or any number of home-based activities. On the other hand, there is a background level of anxiety or even fear, many are risking their lives to work in care homes or for the NHS, shopping takes ages, we can’t pop round to see friends or relatives, cafes and pubs are shut, many have lost their jobs or businesses, and we don’t know how or when this is going to end.

There’s a story in the Bible about two of Jesus’ friends travelling home to a village called Emmaus. It’s Easter Day, and they’ve heard strange news that Jesus has risen again, but they don’t know what to make of it. Without warning, a stranger joins them and engages them in conversation. “How slow you are to believe!” he teases them, and goes on to explain how the Crucifixion and Resurrection had been predicted in the Scriptures and were all part of the plan. When they reach Emmaus the stranger makes as if to go on, but the travellers insist he comes in to stay the night, as it’s growing dark. They prepare a meal, then when their guest breaks the bread their eyes are opened and they realise it was Jesus all along.

Generations of Christians have found comfort in that story. They journey through life, perplexed and anxious, then at the end find that Jesus was walking alongside them all along. I pray that all of us will find the same comfort, and that he will open our eyes to recognise him.

Just a reminder: if you find yourself showing symptoms and have to self-isolate, and there isn’t anyone to run to the shops or the chemist for you, don’t hesitate to give me a ring on 01262 229503 and we’ll be glad to help you out.

God bless and take care,

Richard