[caption id="attachment_3175" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This was last year's Christmas Tree - The Resurrection Cross"][/caption]This is the time of the year when things start to get busy in the Parish preparing for the run up to Easter. This week I hope the parish magazine will be delivered from the printer, then we'll need a a band of volunteers to deliver the Parish Network around the homes. Its a great opportunity to invite friends and family to share in the Easter Celebrations. There is also a little buzz of excitement around the Sanctus Media office, located near the front of the church. We're all awaiting the arrival of our first book of published prayers. These are prayers that have been written for the Sanctuary First website. When the books arrive we hope that many of our blog readers will buy a copy. Preparations that are going on for the week end. On Friday we will receive the prayer candle linking the churches who have been involved with the 24 hour prayer vigil across the Lothians. Starting at 12 Midnight on Friday evening the church will be open from 12 midnight till 4.00am for prayer. Others will keep the vigil going in their homes from 4.00am- 8.00am when the church will re-open for prayer until Midnight on Saturday. I think this will be a wonderful way to begin to prepare for Holy Week. It is also a great opportunity to challenge one's self to deny a little bit of sleep and to begin to seek God's presence in a special way. I have no doubt that those who get involved with this vigil will find it a rewarding and worthwhile experience. On Friday Evening we will run the Cross Shaped Space service from 7.00pm -8.00pm. I think its going to be an amazing service. Apart from some of the teenagers who come to the Friday VNU, I hope that a good group of others from different parts will also come and share in the service. We hope to build on the experience that we had at last year's service. Why not go over to the Sanctuary First website and check out some of the videos we will be playing on Friday. The exciting thing is that we are going to run with the Cross Shaped Space service again on Sunday Morning. I think its going to be quite wonderful. We will all be challenged to move through the cross shaped space again. Here is a prayer that I wrote as part of the liturgy it is to be said before the service starts. Lord, Here I am, I've just arrived Out of breath feeling guilty, with a thousand and one things still to do: letters still to write, decisions still to be made, relationships still to mend, deadlines to be met, expectations to be fulfilled. But I'm standing here, thinking about the cross shaped space. I'm thinking about the way I walked to the space. I want to stay a while, not move, just stand here in the space, living in the space, working in the space, praying in the space, receiving your 'Spirit breath'. I guess this is my time to reflect, My prayer time. Lord, I'm struggling to live in the cross shaped space. Help me clear a space in my life to spend with You, to live in Your space, Your space that allows me to receive forgiveness, Your space that gives me grace to forgive others, Your space that helps me become a servant. Lord, I want to stay in this space, soak in this space, laugh in this space, dance in this space, die in this space. Lord thank you for the gift of faith giving me courage to believe, to know this is the right space in which to be. We hope that prayers like this one will help people to begin to centre themselves on the presence and power of the cross. Talking of the cross. This afternoon I had the privilege of recording next weeks podcast along with Laura Taylor. In this podcast I had the opportunity to explain in a few words something of the intrigue that the cross shaped space draws from those who begin to meditate upon it.
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