In this reflection on Easter, Jane Bottomley looks back at her first Holy Week at St Paul and St John the Evangelist Church, Monklands.
It is still only a matter of weeks since I arrived in Airdrie and walked into your church. I have moved often and walked into a number of churches, greeted at the door. Here you have welcomed me with genuine unreserved warmth; drawn me in, listened, held my hand, hugged me, fed me.
The Easter worship you have shared with me is the most real and profound I have ever experienced.
The flowers for The Watch stunned me. The perfume overpowered me. Such a beautiful and extravagant gesture of love and devotion. Nard!
The Eucharist on Friday was horrifying – bear with me – for the first time I actually felt the horror of what happened, continues to happen and my own culpability in it. It hit so hard that I almost didn’t come forward to the altar, to eat the broken body. But you didn’t hesitate and I was reassured that if I came with you it would be alright. I was forgiven before I even knew repentance.
So on Easter Sunday, with the joy of those beautiful, extravagant, sacrificial flowers I realised that the fault in my life is moving; faith, religion and love are realigning.