The other day, on my day off, I was sitting with Nicola, my wife, trying to decide what we might do together as we had cleared up all of the little things to do and really needed to get away from phones and emails.
Royal Pavilion in Brighton (near us). I was dumb struck ... having spent much of my University time in Brighton and she had visited often, having lived near Brighton for the last 25 years, I assumed I must have taken her there at some time so it was not worth another trip. Wrong assumption, she had never been and so thats where we went and had a great time, even me exploring it all again, the look on Nicola's face when she saw the dinning room was exactly as the (then) Prince Regent meant it to be for his guests when he built it.
We make assumptions about what others know or remember or understand, what someone thinks about an issue or how they will understand the language we use when talking, sharing and discussing things. In church life, just like in many other groups, we have a language peculiar to us, which we think we understand and yet often won't admit that we don't and for those outside of the church, it is often gobbledygook.
Reflecting on this I can't help thinking of the confusion that surrounded Jesus in the period leading up to the Crucifixion. Many assumed he was the king that the scriptures had promised would come and free the Jewish people, at that point from the Roman occupation, and herald a new Jewish state. A man of power and might who would overthrow the authorities and become the king. Others assumed he was just another trouble maker, rabble rousing and likely to bring down the full horror of Roman retribution upon them.
The result of their assumptions was that one group turned their backs on him while the other sought to kill him, leading to the Crucifixion, Jesus hung on a cross to die. Of course there was one other assumption, that once someone was dead then they stayed dead, but they were wrong again. Jesus came back, was seen by many and lives today. His Church celebrates all that he has done through the events 2000 years ago in a weeks time, remembering, celebrating, rejoicing in the fact that all who know him personally as their saviour will also be there at the end with him. Thats not an assumption by the way but a certainty!
You can explore this more over Easter by visiting a local church, if you are anywhere near Burgess Hill, you might like to drop in on Gateway Baptist Church.