Reflections: Rev Gillian Paterson of Methil Parish Church

KIRKCALDY;'Rev Gillian Paterson and committee members who are organising the 'Celebrate and Discover' event being held in conjunction with all the local churches at Kirkcaldy High School; l-r; JENNY MCLEOD, MARY LUKE, GEORGE LUKE, REV GILLIAN PATERSON & REV CATRIONA MORRISON.'photo; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Rev Gillian Paterson and committee members who are organising the 'Celebrate and Discover' event being held in conjunction with all the local churches at Kirkcaldy High School; l-r; JENNY MCLEOD, MARY LUKE, GEORGE LUKE, REV GILLIAN PATERSON & REV CATRIONA MORRISON.'photo; WALTER NEILSON

THERE is a phrase that is guaranteed to make me smile in the lead-up to Christmas time.

It is the one that would make me rich if I had a pound for every time someone says “this will be your busy time of year”.

Of course, Christmas is a busy time for everyone, but it is actually this week in the year that is not only the busiest, but the most important and meaningful week for me.

This is Holy Week, the week when we follow Jesus on his journey to the cross at Calvary.

Throughout the week in Methil Church, you can experience the journey through a variety of areas that have been set up to recreate what happened to Jesus all those years ago.

It starts with his exciting and triumphant entry into Jerusalem when the crowds are all excited and shout and cheer for him.

The next day, he pays a visit to the Temple, only to find that, instead of being a house of prayer, it is a centre for over-priced and shoddy goods, and he makes his feelings clear by overturning the tables and causing chaos.

Later in the week, he spends time with his friends, preparing for his death, which he knows is about to happen.

At the Last Supper, he shares a meal with them, before Judas betrays him to the authorities and he is arrested.

The events on Good Friday, when he is mocked by the same people who had cheered for him only days earlier, lead to his painful walk to the cross at Calvary, where he dies an agonising death.

For many people, his death seemed like the end; they were despondent and uncertain about who Jesus had been.

However, on the Sunday morning, his friends find the stone has been rolled away from the tomb and Jesus is not there.

Their despair turns to overwhelming joy when Jesus appears to them to prove he is alive once more, and it is this joy that we celebrate, not just on Easter day, but on every day of the year.

The Easter story is one full of twists and turns, highs and lows.

When Jesus died on the cross, he died for all of us.

He saw a world that had gone wrong and came to save it by dying, and then rising again from the grave.

It is a promise that is freely available every day to each one of us.

Whatever twists and turns, or highs and lows, that life has thrown at us, he welcomes us with open arms – the same arms that were stretched out on the cross in love, in faith and in hope.

This week is the most poignant and vitally important week in the Christian year, because it contains the crucial message of how much you are loved by God, which is that you are loved so much that He gave His only Son for you.

Follow the journey this week. It could be life-changing!

Reverend Gillian Paterson writes in the East Fife Mail.