Reflection on Low Sunday
The name Low Sunday was given to the second Sunday of Easter because of the traditionally low attendance at church on the Sunday after Easter. This must surely have been the lowest of low Sundays as we have been unable to go into St. George’s at all. But for me this has been low Sunday because of how I am feeling. In fact it has been low Sunday ever since the lockdown began for the over 70s. Worship is simply not the same at home as in church even though I know that God is still here. For God is with us throughout, holding us and our pain, our fears, our frustration and our distress and sorrow.
This lent one of the resources I found helpful was a booklet produced by the CMS (Church Mission Society). The title is “Only with eyes that have cried – Lament for Lent”. It is an exploration of the importance of lament in the life of the church and I as I begin each Sunday with tears, I have returned to it even though we are now in Easter. We have much to lament about, not just that we are unable to go into church. Life has become uncertain for so many people and in so many different ways. So many are suffering now and will continue to suffer. Lament has been described as an expression of a grief, an active process of a soul trying to wear out its pain, outlive it, persist through it to a place of respite and a different perspective on living. It is an expression of sorrow and a path to life beyond that sorrow.
When we lament we do not know what life beyond the sorrow will be like just as the disciples in the upper room had no idea what life with the risen Jesus would be like and neither do we know what life after lockdown will be like. During this Sunday’s service I was struck by the line in the Eucharistic preface for the Easter season “earth and heaven resound with gladness”. All around us creation continues to proclaim God’s presence even if we cannot. In the words of the psalmist
“those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping bearing the seed will come back with shouts of joy, bearing their sheaves with them”. (psalm 126, 6-7)
Only with eyes that have cried: Lament for Lent is available to download from www.churchmissionsociety.org in their resource hub. There is also a lament space for posts about this current situation.