Again, another 'between appointments' post, but have just had to write a couple of articles for local village magazines, so here is a sneak preview!
Newsletter Easter 2007
April sees the greatest celebration of the Church year. Forget Christmas, forget everything else, Easter is the day that makes Christians who we are! It is a joy filled party that reminds us of the great love of God which takes way the power of death and sin and causes us to shout ‘Alleluia! Christ is Risen – He is risen indeed, Alleluia’.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of this for those who follow Jesus. His resurrection from the dead is what gives us hope, it is the meaning behind our faith, it is the greatest truth to which we hold. St Paul, probably the greatest teacher of the Christian faith, wrote ‘If Christ is not raised from the dead then all we believe is in vain.’
But, having said that, if that was all we believed and all that we were concerned about then those who claim that Christians are all ‘head in the clouds, pie in the sky’ religious nuts would be justified in their accusations. Though we believe that Jesus’ resurrection is the most important part of our faith, we remember also the events that led up to that great moment.
We remember a God who loves us so much that he sent His Son to be one of us, vulnerable and naked as a baby in the arms of His mother Mary, going through all the difficulties and struggles that we do, growing up as we do, seeking truth as we do.
We remember the teaching of Christ that to try and live to God’s standards involves loving God, loving each other and loving ourselves, and that we need God’s help to do that.
We remember that the Resurrection only happened following the betrayal, torture, humiliation and death that Jesus suffered.
We remember that it was through Jesus’ death on the cross that that sin which marks our lives can be taken away.
We remember that all of this can only really be a part of our lives when we are open to God’s Spirit living in our hearts, and changing us little by little, day by day.
In this past year there have been many painful times, tragedies in the lives of our villages. Our communities have struggled through many difficulties, as communities always do. Your Churches, the Clergy and members of the congregations, have often been in the thick of these events and sought, as best we can, to offer support, love and help to any in need.
But as we travel through the pain, as we struggle together, we hold on to that promise of abundant life, and of the help which God offer us in all situations. We hold on to the light and hope which our faith offers – not just ‘in heaven’ but in all of our lives. We hold on to the joy that came through the suffering and death of Jesus, and we continue to say, ‘Alleluia! Christ is Risen’