OUR latest Community Column is written by Rev Christine Murdoch, Minister at the Church of Scotland’s Lochside Linkage.

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SUNDAY, March 28 is Palm Sunday, and marks the beginning of Holy Week, when Christians reflect on the events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, including his death on Good Friday.

It leads us to Easter, when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. There is much about faith that remains a mystery, yet, I truly believe Christ did return to life on earth, before ascending to heaven.

This is the second year in a row that we will journey through Holy Week while in lockdown. I suspect very few of us thought we would still be living under restrictions more than a year after they were introduced. The restrictions are difficult for us all. We all want to return to life as it was.

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Yet I wonder how many of us will be able to just leave our homes and socialise with other people? Or welcome others into our homes? Will we be fearful? Have we become too used to our own company?

It is fair to say that we are living in difficult times and through dark days. Yet there is hope and light at the end of our long tunnel, as the vaccine continues to be administered to more and more people.

In five days’ time, along with my fellow Christians, I will begin my walk through Holy Week.

We begin with the high point of people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem by throwing palm branches and their cloaks on the ground as a carpet for Jesus.

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We will watch as he washes the disciples’ feet and then shares with them bread and wine and asks them to remember all he has done for them. Then he will be betrayed by one friend and abandoned by others, before being crucified on the cross.

These are dark days for us, however, the only path to Easter is the one that travels through these dreadful events.

Yet the path does not end at the cross; it moves on to the new life and joy of the resurrection.

However you are celebrating Easter this year, may God bless you with peace and joy.

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