A season of peace and strength

Reverend Elisabeth Cranfield, Denbeath and Methilhill Parish Churches
Reverend Elisabeth Cranfield, Denbeath and Methilhill Parish Churches

None of us finds it easy to deal with disappointment, especially when our expectations have been raised and we have been really eagerly looking forward to a special occasion with great anticipation.

If we have really needed a relaxing holiday, a noisy hotel near a building site may mean we arrive home still needing to rest.

On a more significant level, it can be devastating to fail to get an interview or to be refused a place on a course upon which we have set our minds.

And it’s always enormously difficult for anyone to find ways to cope with the rejection and hurt from a relationship that hasn’t lived up to initial expectations.

But, of course, it’s always wonderful when our eager expectations are met or exceeded.

A recent example of this was when, earlier this year, a few of us from Methilhill and Denbeath Church travelled to Trinidad to visit our friends from The Church of Scotland in Trinidad and to share in the seventh anniversary celebrations of our twinning relationship.

We were given an absolutely wonderful welcome and very much made to feel like family. The whole programme was enriching and enjoyable, and we loved participating in the very inspiring service and friendly family fun day on Twinning Sunday.

Having all hugely enjoyed the unforgettable visit of the Steel pan band COSTOS (Church of Scotland Trinidad on Steel) to Scotland in 2013, it was especially heartening to see that this wonderful steel band has grown in size and in skill, and to spend an afternoon tapping away to its music at a practice.

In this Easter season, millions and millions of people around the world are reflecting on what seems to me to be the most dramatic turnaround in history.

Jesus’ followers, who had been devastated by his death, found their sorrow and despair turned to joy when the risen Jesus appeared to them .

One moment, their dreams and expectations had been shattered and, the next moment, hope dawned afresh as they encountered their risen Lord.

The great news of Easter is that Jesus died on the cross for everyone and that his resurrection from the dead offers peace and hope to everyone.

As we all know, life isn’t always easy. We have to live with disappointment, to struggle to find ways of coming to terms with the loss of people we love, to manage unrealistic expectations and to adapt our hopes for the future.

But for people of faith, the presence of the risen Jesus is a source of great comfort and peace and strength.

In the midst of our struggles and challenges, it really helps to know Jesus is willing and able to guide us, and that, in the end, his love will triumph. May the joy and hope of Easter bring you peace.