Diocese of Oxford

Letter from Rev Andrea Colbrook – April 2024

Walking my dog this morning caused me to reflect on the importance of finding stillness in our lives. It is not something that comes easily to many of us as we bustle from one activity to the next but it is something we would all do well to practice.

I have had the great delight in teaching the art of contemplation to the children in our school; helping them to take time to pause, notice and be still. This practice not only supports learning and calms the class environment but aids the children’s well-being. With lives that are full of so many distractions and such busyness, it is so important to take time to pause. As we practice stillness, we can begin to truly see the things around us.

Walking the dog is a time when I can be still and fully notice the things around me. Sometimes I find myself being surprised as I spot the most unexpected things. This morning’s surprise was two ducks sitting on the roof of a house close to the pond, not where I expected to see a duck. I enjoy the unexpected encounters with people as I walk through our village, ranging from a brief good morning to a much longer chat. By being still and fully present to the things around me, I am able to engage with life in a deeper and perhaps more meaningful way.

The Easter season has been a time of stillness, and a time for the unexpected. As we quietly journeyed towards Easter, we were able to notice unexpected moments in the story that may have surprised us. The disciples thought they knew what to expect. They expected Jesus to ride into Jerusalem on a mighty steed and bring to an end Roman rule. They were not expecting the triumphant entry to the city to be followed so quickly by the arrest and crucifixion. They scurried into hiding until the miraculous resurrection, which transformed them and the whole world.

The kingdom of God breaks into our lives at unexpected times and in unexpected ways and, as it does, we can find hope, peace and a connection that is truly remarkable. This is what sustains us in times of difficulty, dryness, isolation and even moments of abandonment. The Easter story speaks into the heart of wherever we find ourselves at in life. So let us be still and remember the words of our Saviour from Matthew’s Gospel, “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matt 28: 20b.

Happy Easter to you all. 
Every Blessings,