If you are old enough, you may remember the cigarette advertisement ‘You’re never alone with a Strand’. As a teenager in the 60’s I smoked Lucky Strike; thought I was so cool with one hanging out of the corner of my mouth! It was real James Dean stuff, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ (Dean is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement) and me at 16, hanging out with my mates in a coffee bar, drinking Coca Cola with an aspirin in, thinking we’d get high. It is probably a good job I didn’t get ordained until decades later!

I am almost 73 now, but still a rebel, although much wiser (I think anyway). You can’t put an old head on young shoulders. Somebody once said young people should have the money they accumulate in life when they’re young, so they can enjoy it. By that token, maybe youth should have the wisdom of old(er) age? When we look back, would we all do things differently? In a variety of ways; ‘if only this’, ‘if only I hadn’t done that’, blah-de-blah. Regrets? I’ve had a few, but there again, too few to mention (Old Blue Eyes).

Sentimental twaddle! ‘If only’ … what we have now are the cards we were dealt and how we played them. We can moan the pack was rigged or we can proudly say ‘OK, I got a rotten hand, but I played them to the best of my ability’. I Did It My Way.

Easter has come and gone; the deep sorrow of Good Friday replaced by the joy of Easter Morn; in a very short space of time. All things pass and we move on. The question for me is;

What do we learn?

When this virus has passed into the history books, will things return to ‘normal’?

We love ‘normality’. We don’t like change. It’s scary. That’s why for me, the wonders of Easter are the centre of my life; not three days, but every day.

Through all life’s changes, the Cross is the centre; announcing a glorious Resurrection, hope in this life and joyful expectation of tomorrow.

During this time of isolation, I’m doing virtual services via Zoom. Boy, what a steep learning curve! Modern technology is great, but you have to understand it. A psychologist once said ‘There’s no growth without conflict.’ Tell me about it!

If you would like a confidential chat, I’m always available on

ahrea2@yahoo.co.uk  or ring 634 386 179

‘Bye for now and God bless

Rev Andrew