The day began with the glorious sunrise over the Durham Cathedral and continued with delightful breakfast at the Canon Pastor’s palace. The breath taking natural beauty of the region and its rich heritage of the arrival of St Cuthbert and St Bede has simply highlighted the significance of God’s goodness in this place. I was reminded of the walk yesterday from St Bede’s Church in Jarrow to his resting place in Durham Cathedral which took me through Stanley, Chester le Street, Sacristan and the many mining communities and thick woods.
The crook of the Weir is the tip to the location of this glorious house of God. The Cathedral can be seen from around it from the riverbanks of Weir. The Southbank becomes the Northbank by the crook and there is something to ponder on journeys and perspectives with the Risen Lord. The Cross and the Resurrection are two inseparable perspectives of the Lord’s love for the Creation. The fifty days (about) lead up from offering of the Christ Child by the Blessed Mother Mary at Candlemas to the Offering of the Incarnate Son by the Father at the Cross, His glorious Resurrection on the Easter Morn is only the beginning of fifty days of Easter where we hear and proclaim his message, ‘Peace be with You.’ Carrying this message through this land on foot is nothing but joy and delight.
This was captured by the two sermons today at the Cathedral. One that caught my attention was the refusal of the Lord to answer the question posed by the Jews, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’ The seductiveness of a question with ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answer is very powerful. Recently I was invited by someone to enter into a ‘Mediation’ exercise. I was taken by surprise by this invitation and couldn’t see the point of it as I couldn’t see a conflict to mediate. So, I invited my invitee to walk with me on this ‘Walk 22: Peace be with you’ Walk of Prayer for Healing, Peace and Revival. My invitee insisted on this ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answer. I was acutely mindful of the implications of such answer because I keep bad company like the Lord who refused to answer his adversaries in ‘tell us plainly’ answer. Instead, I invited my invitee to join me on the walk. Oh the graciousness of the Lord that fills my heart with joy as I walk along proclaiming, ‘Peace be with you.’
I am about to set off to Newton Aycliffe from the Cathedral. My companions and I are delighted with this stop, blessed and healed by the hospitality of Ruth and Fr Michael, fired up and ready to go. Come, let us walk together, in the name of Jesus, the Risen Lord.