Revd Bob's May Newsletter
Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
We are now in the season of Easter which takes us through to the great event of Pentecost, Whitsunday, on 4th June. This is the season when we consider the implications of the dramatic events of Holy Week that culminated in the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Day.
By his life Jesus shows us a pattern of life, a model of what living as a human being in harmony with God looks like. This is why the first Christians didn't call themselves 'Christians' but followers of the 'Way'.
Jesus described himself as 'the way, the truth and the life'. His resurrection from the dead demonstrates the triumph of love as the 'way of life'. The event of his resurrection shows us that this is more than an issue of life after our death; it is a principle that affects our life now. This was put very clearly by John Taylor, former Bishop of Winchester in his book 'Weep not for me', when he said:
'Death followed by resurrection, life through dying, is the way things are. It is not a truth limited to the one event of Christ's death and resurrection, nor does it affect us only when we approach the end of our lives. It is a principle of all existence. Hang onto what you have of life and you are lost. Let go, do the necessary dying, and a fuller, richer quality of aliveness will be given to you.
'In any lifetime there are innumerable little deaths – always painful and always frightening – changing house, seeing a child go away from home for the first time, losing one's job, leaving one's homeland, the break-up of a marriage, retirement – you can think of many more. There are also for every woman and man occasions when dying for others is required – one's own cherished plan surrendered so that someone else may have a more important breakthrough; one's work used and the credit given to someone who may need it more; one's lifestyle curtailed by another's demand on us; one's security sacrificed so that others may be helped. It hardly ever happens with any heroics or romance. It is hard and unacknowledged … Yet was it not the case that afterwards you yourself knew that you had become a freer, more confident person, having discovered that you could make a surrender without a loss of integrity?'
These words are food for thought which turns our normal expectation of the way things are, on their head. The message of the resurrection is that when the disciples thought all was lost, new life breaks through. Perhaps this is why every experience of his resurrection comes as a surprise to the disciples leaving them shocked and in awe.
Maybe we need to ask ourselves about our own expectations when life leads us into dark places when we fear that all may be lost?
With this thought I wish you a blessed Easter season.