Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Easter is a time for reflection
8:58am Tuesday 24th April 2012 in Faith Matters
I have just returned from Pakistan, an experience I have found both immensely challenging and hugely rewarding. I have encountered some wonderful people and also been immersed in some tense situations. It is both a wonderful country and a troubled part of the world. I have much to ponder!
Returning to Bradford offers a similar mix of emotions. We have seen the opening of the new City Park, an event so crowded and glorious that it was hard to move in the city centre.
During the opening, however, there was a protest concerning the plans for the Odeon. So celebration and concern are mixed up in our own day-to-day events. And in our family lives, we often live this mix of good things and bad things together.
During Lent, the Touchstone yurt (a big tent) has been inside Bradford Cathedral. It has been a place of listening, to both the delight and the struggles of the people that have come into it.
Some took part in creative workshops, others came for Bible Studies or interfaith conversations, but many have just been taking some quiet space to be listened to and to think and pray.
For Christians, Lent is a particular focus for such contemplation. We take time to deny ourselves some things that give us immediate pleasures, in order to think of the bigger stories and to refocus our lives. Time to think and pray helps us to get back to what is important and maybe to make some life changing decisions.
Easter is a time of great celebration, because we believe that Jesus was raised, but we need to hold it in the context of the death of Jesus and the ongoing suffering of the world.
It is this mix of good and bad that is the reality of our day to day lives, and we need to have a faith that can help us untangle our thoughts and hold fast to the good things.
I am glad to be back in Bradford, but I am also mindful of the people of Pakistan. And my Easter prayer is for peace and joy and love to bubble up in new and unexpected ways both here and there – because I believe that God wants all of us to live our lives in all their fullness!
* Tomorrow is Easter Day, the most important festival of the Christian year, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Easter eggs are given, which symbolise new life.
* Wednesday: Interfaith Prayers for Peace – 7pm at the Khidmat Centre.
* The Sikh New Year Festival, Vaisakhi, is celebrated on Friday.