As we approach the Easter weekend, I wanted to write to you all with some brief reflections for our school community at this uniquely demanding time.
All aspects of society are feeling the significant changes and strains of this current season, and the Church faces a strange moment in its history as church doors across the world remain closed for Holy Week.
Easter celebrates the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet the journey to the triumph does not go without the pain, agony and loneliness of the cross. It seems that the lament of this Holy Week - the crying out in pain and in heartfelt questions - will be more acutely felt as people lose loved ones, battle illness, miss friends and family, face financial hardship, and struggle to get through the day. And so we will lament, and we must.
However, there is also bound up in the Easter weekend the anticipation of the good news that is to come. This is both an audacious hope in life after death, but also in the life we have the privilege of living before death. This fullness of life is felt in the way we orientate our very ordinary and humble lives to be bringers of hope to society. I hope you will have been encouraged and challenged by the Head Master’s letter to give of your creativity, your time and resources to the College’s Brighton Together NHS Staff Support Hub. As a sign of seeking to bring new life over this Easter weekend maybe we should all continue to commit to those ways that look beyond our own needs and seek to serve the greater needs of humanity at this time, particularly in our local areas.
On a personal note, we still feel like we are adapting as individuals and as a family with a fair amount of bickering, screen time management, baking and the much-needed windows of time outside. I decided that in our privileged state of lockdown (we have a front door and a roof over our heads) that it would be a great outcome if we could love and like each other just as much by the end of the day as we did at the beginning!
In this time, I have also been inspired to think again about the monastic tradition which holds to a life steeped in prayer and often adapts a 'rule for life'. A 'rule for life' is about life-giving practices, and an invitation into a well-ordered way. It holds us to ways of being that we can manage, but also might help us through this season of change. This is obviously not about strict rules but about a few light aspirations. In our home, some of our 'rules for life' have involved limiting news intake and screen time, having a gratitude ritual, aiming for meaningful connection with each other and others we love (via zoom of course!), trying to sabbath well, and eating only two pieces of home-made baking a day!
For those of you who are struggling with illness or who know people who are, and for all these changing times that we face - please be assured of my thoughts and prayers for you all.
If you would like to get in contact on firstname.lastname@example.org then I would always be delighted to hear from you and to support you where I can.
With my love and prayers, and best wishes for a very happy Easter,