There was a great buzz around the town on Friday afternoon.
Enjoying lunch I couldn’t help but notice the crowds of young people gathering to celebrate Radio One’s ‘Big Weekend.’
One one level I thought the occasion was brilliant but on another level I felt slightly depressed realising I was now very much middle aged yet thankfully not old aged as I haven’t reached my forties.
All week people have been in a panic searching for tickets for the ‘One Big Weekend’. Community centres have been packed out as tickets were raffled whilst expectant parents and teenagers placed their hopes and fortunes on the luck of the draw.
On Friday I never saw as many yellow coats, bibs and jackets as stewards and marshals controlled the crows gathering for this weekend’s events.
The Peace Bridge had been closed for most of Friday and because the sun had made a rare appearance we decided to take in the sites by wandering over to the river embankment to be nosey. Some of the friendly stewards engaged us in banter and because most of them seemed to be from Top of the Hill I questioned were they not homesick being on the Derry side.
The atmosphere was only building at this stage and I’m sure the buzz and the excitement generated over this weekend will create many happy memories and hopefully enhance the life and the image of the city.
Unfortunately I never managed to locate tickets for myself as the event was sold out in minutes. On Friday night I watched on television some of the acts on the main stage thanks to the wonders of the red button on the remote control. When it comes to ticket only occasions it’s hard not to feel excluded when we haven’t been fortunate enough to acquire tickets.
You’re conscious of being on the outside looking in. Jesus’ through his life, death and resurrection has revealed to us the inner life of God. Jesus was sent to gather all God’s people into the loving and life giving relationship of three persons in the One God.
Where Jesus has gone we hope to follow. This possibility is opened up for all men and women through the gift of the Holy Spirit who continues to reveal Jesus’ presence in the Church.
Entry into God’s kingdom is not a raffle nor does it rely on the luck of the draw, the choice is ours. If we follow in the path of discipleship we will come to know and experience God’s love. The challenge of being more Christ like has to be at the heart of all our relationships. God lives and dwells in a relationship of love, which means our relationships have to be loving and life giving. Do we bring life and energy to those we meet or do we drain away that energy and suck the life out of those people we encounter? We pray for the strength to be more people empowered by God to bring hope and joy to one another.