I hope that the Easter weekend was a very special time for all of you. It’s often an opportunity for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company over a long weekend.
It was certainly a special family time for us this year because our daughter got married on Easter Monday. Katie and Tim live in Cambridge so they got married in the village church they have been attending on the edge of Cambridge. The Bishop of Ely gave permission for me to conduct the service together with the incumbent of the parish, which made it a particularly personal and moving service. We were lucky to have beautiful sunny weather and the church was full of lovely Spring flowers. We labelled it as a “Do-it-yourself” wedding because so much of it was home made. Katie had made her own wedding dress, Katie and Tim made the bridesmaids’ dresses between them, they made ties for the men in the wedding party, Tim made the wedding cake, and they even made each other’s wedding rings at a jewellery workshop that they attended earlier in the year!
The Cambridge landscape is fairly flat and so many local people travel around on bicycles – it also helps with the car parking issues in the town centre. Katie and Tim have become keen cyclists since they moved there and their latest purchase – a tandem – featured in the talk I gave in the wedding service. Katie told me that a tandem is a good form of marriage preparation because you have to communicate well, work together in a team and trust each other. The communication is mainly a lot of shouting from the lead cyclist (Tim) to indicate what is ahead and words of panic from the second cyclist (Katie). The teamwork is synchronised pedalling, with a lot of effort required if there is a hill on the journey. The trust involved is Katie relying on Tim to warn her of dangers and Tim trusting that Katie has no option but to follow him! Fortunately the adventures on the tandem have drawn them even closer together.
Good communication, teamwork and trust are a good basis for married life – in fact they are a good basis for all our relationships. Our contacts with family, friends and neighbours are enhanced if we make an effort to communicate well, work together and show trust and respect for each other. A loving relationship contains all these elements.
Our relationship with God should also be based on good communication, teamwork and trust. We can improve our communication with God through regular prayer and worship – by talking to God, but also by listening to Him. Prayer is about silences and listening as well as about words and talking. We may not immediately think of the word “teamwork” in describing our relationship with God, but it indicates that we are working together with God rather than in opposition to Him. God asks us to join with Him in promoting His kingdom in the world; we work together to achieve that aim. Throughout our lives we have to learn to trust God, to understand that God has our interests at heart because He has such love for us.
So, let us aim to build all our relationship with God on good communication, teamwork and trust – then we know that we will be travelling “in tandem” with God throughout our lives. Priscilla