It's the end of Easter Week. I've had a short break in Norfolk - doing a bit of bird-watching, with the big bonus of seeing avocet for the first time! - and now, preparing for "Low Sunday" (is it called that because attendances are generally low after Easter?), I'm remembering the various strong and disturbing images and stories that have haunted the past week or so. Notre Dame, to start with; the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry; the protests and speeches about climate change - and of course, the terrible news filtering through on Easter Sunday, of the deadly attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.
I suppose if there's one theme coming through to me from all of this disparate stuff, it's that we have to find ways to be together and to act together. Or, to put it the other way round, we have to resist all attempts to create division. In terms of Easter, it's the difference between Jesus' friends scattered in fear on Good Friday, and the same bunch brought together in joy and hope after the Resurrection. Which will we be? Which way will we choose?
And, if our fear is that it doesn't really matter what we choose, that our words and actions won't make a difference, then remember that so much change for the better - think of South Africa and of Northern Ireland - has had its roots in the faithful praying that refuses to stop until something shifts for good.
Don't give up. Keep praying for the new life which God has promised.