2015 April

April 2015

Dear Friends,

April brings with it the great highlight of the Christian year – Easter. Over the last few weeks you may have entered into the spiritual discipline of Lent as we come to Holy Week and the rejoicing of Easter Sunday.

At the heart of our faith, there is the message of death and resurrection.  There are two sides to this. The first relates to death, whether that be our own, that of a loved one, or the coming to an end of something that we cherish. Whereas others may look towards death as final with nothing beyond, or at least an unknown beyond, we as Christians recognise that Christ has gone before us and live in the expectation of resurrection and new life.

This means that we are a people of hope, with our faith in the Lord of resurrection who offers new hope and new horizons that were not obvious previously. That does not mean that we live in denial of death, but rather, looking death full in the face with all the hurt and sorrow that it means, we still look forward to a resurrection hope.  Such a hope allows us to live in hope and expectancy, knowing that our loss and sadness is never the end but the start of a process towards new life.

The second side of the message of death and resurrection relates to resurrection. There can be no resurrection without death.  Jesus pointed to the seed that must die in the ground to provide a new plant and a new harvest. As the Easter hymn says:

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

For resurrection to take place, there first must be death.

Thus, the person who gives their life to Christ becomes a new creation. The process of dying and rising is symbolized in our baptism, most vividly illustrated on the occasions when full immersion baptism is enacted. For those of us who were baptized as infants, the symbolism is still there. In time we come to acknowledge our need of Jesus and offer ourselves to him anew.

Where for some, this may be one major event, I have found that my Christian discipleship is made up of a series of mini deaths and resurrections as I offer another facet of my life to Christ and ask him to take control.

Each step involves a willingness to let go that which has passed and, if you will, allow it to die, knowing that Christ leads us on to new life and new hope.

As I write this, I am very aware that in the last few months, we as a Christian community have lost some dear friends and loved ones, whose presence is still fresh in our memory and is recalled with much affection. As Christians, we claim the promise of resurrection for them and for ourselves, praising God that they are with our Lord in the splendor of his light.

Our message of death and resurrection is not just for the first Easter, almost 2000 years ago, but is as relevant and important for us today as it has ever been.

I pray God’s blessing on you as live in resurrection hope as we proclaim: He is risen. He is risen indeed!

With every blessing,

 

David

 


Page last updated: 29th February 2016 5:35 PM