Today, has been taken up with me reflecting on the concept of open access. Now those of you with good memories will remember that “Open Access” was the previous title of our midweek ministry held within and beyond our church building, before we adopted the newer “Positive Steps” title. However (as part of our Refurb process) today a group of us were looking at the first set of possible architect plans for the improvement of our building. Certainly the theme of access featured strongly, with a combination of windows, doors and moveable screens, both opening up various rooms to outside views, as well as making larger ones more usable. The plans are all very exiting and we look forward to showcasing them further over the third weekend in April.
Earlier in the day, at morning prayer, we studied a challenging but encouraging passage in the letter to the Hebrews. Here we thought of the ministry of Jesus our great high priest, who is described as “going through the curtain” gaining us direct access with God. We recalled the tearing of the curtain separating the "holy of holies' in the temple in Jerusalem, which is described as happening on Good Friday at the time that Jesus died, and the breaking down of any barriers which threaten to separate us from God.
I for one, am all for breaking down barriers, and for enabling access to all. For me, a moving part of the formal opening of the Women’s Footprints group facilitated by Positive Steps on Monday, was where women both of faith and none, were able to express praise and gratitude for the opportunities and mutual support that the group has already offered them. Whether acknowledged or not, God was certainly in the mix, and I pray will continued to be accessed, embraced and experienced by many both in the present, and indeed the future too, helped with our hoped for physical improvements.
To close, I pray we continue to embrace the season of Lent and indeed remain “open” to “access” all that God has in store for us, perhaps aided by the prayer below which was used in our service last week.