A young lady was eyeing up a pendant she fancied in a jeweller’s shop, intrigued she asked about who the person was hanging on the cross. Alas, today we can’t assume that all of our young people, and everyone else, know the Easter story about Jesus’ journey to, through and beyond Jerusalem.

In the last week of term 300+ pupils from Glebe & Loudoun Montgomery Primary Schools walked to the back of Fullarton Connexions’ car park to be led through a multi-sensory Easter experience. Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem; The Upper Room of feet-washing and Passover; Gethsemane Garden’s loneliness , Jesus’ close friends asleep rather than in prayer for him; The betrayal of Judas, desertion of Jesus’ followers, and cruel crucifixion (dice, nails, thorn crown hanging nearby); The Empty Tomb, large stone rolled away and Jesus’ grave-clothes lying folded; a resurrection tree covered in yellow ribbons pointing to Jesus’ risen presence; and Jesus’ Great Commission on the way out, “Let’s Go! Tell everyone everywhere I Love you all; be brave, I am always with you!”

Huge thanks: to NA Council for 2 tons of bark-chips and those who shifted it to line the trail, and many more who helped create this marvellous experience, and to Irvine & Kilmarnock Presbytery’s mission primer fund grant, which allowed us to give all the kids an Easter Story sticker book, cream egg & wooden carved heart.

“OH, GOD HELP US!” The terror, anger, anxiety, fear, pain, and galling grief that Ukrainians are enduring! Our hearts go out to all involved, joining their cries for justice, mercy & Peace.

Where is God in this war-torn world? Where is God in the middle of our own personal crises, when ‘it hits the proverbial fan’? Is God ‘Nowhere’ or ‘Now here’ to help us process grief and find hope?

The original Easter Story is one of severe injustice & suffering. Innocent Son of God exterminated by crucifixion. But there’s a bigger picture: Jesus swallows death and offers us hope in the darkest of situations.

Dear Friends, however dark or bright your situation is, may hope’s light dawn and you be assured that you do not walk alone! That God is only a prayer away. And, if you live in the Irvine area, why not take time out to try the Easter Trail and have your faith, hope, love, and soul imagination stretched?

May Easter Hope be yours!