Last weekend one of the neighbours in our street organised a street barbeque in our local park. We had a good turn-out, and it was lovely to see the various ages and ethnicities gathered together and enjoying the afternoon sun.
Most of the neighbours have lived in our street for years, but a few are new-comers. We all agreed that we should make more of an effort to meet socially, and we planned various events we might host in the park.
I came away from the gathering with the warm fuzzies of a pleasant time together, but also a wistful nostalgia for the camaraderie and togetherness that I had experienced during my childhood and, for that matter, my children’s childhoods, as we have had the privilege of living in wonderfully social and caring neighbourhoods.
Sadly, due to the busyness and hurry of life today, much of our neighbourhood social interactions have been reduced to a wave and hello as we pick up mail and bins at the top of the driveway. The get-togethers of the past—‘potluck’ dinner, lunch, afternoon tea, supper and any other occasion we could think of—have been replaced with responsibilities and Netflix.
In Firezone on page 12, Vanessa Singh writes about the importance of pausing this Easter and allowing the tension between the remembrance of Christ’s death on Easter Friday and the celebration of Resurrection Sunday. She says ‘the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb’. This is a powerful image of entering into the reflective, restful, contemplative place of rest where we can pause and meet with Christ.
This Easter as I pause to remember and celebrate, I am going to gather with my family and come away with Christ to pause and rest with him. I am also going to interact with my neighbours and prioritise those whom I should love as myself.
Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. God´s voice in response to mine is its most essential part.
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
E mātau ana hoki tātou, ka ara nei a te Karaiti i te hunga mate, heoi anō ōna matenga; kāhore he kīngitanga o te mate ki a ia ā mua tonu atu.