Written at the beginning of March
I have lived in lots of different places in my lifetime. All of them have been in this country but all of them have had very different scenery around them from outer London to the Shropshire Hills, Salisbury Plains to the Fens. I am always amazed by the variety and diversity around us in this country let alone the world.
I love this time of year and the beauty around us which I think shows something of the extravagance of God. We might see this in the spring flowers, in the sunset or sunrise (depending if you are a morning person or not!). We might experience it in love and care from friends and family.
Fear is building in our country and our world at the moment, yet our Easter story is one where life overcomes death, where light comes through the dark as Jesus overcomes death and the grave. As we enter April this year, April 12th is Easter Day, when we think about the ultimate new life – the new life that we have received because of the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus.
Our Easter story of Jesus sharing The Last Supper, going to the cross and rising on that first Easter Day was I am sure a time of so much uncertainty for those first disciples as they saw what their friend went through. Even they thought it was the end, but on that first Easter Day we find those women going to the tomb to find that it was empty – Jesus was not there. They are met by angels telling them “Do not be afraid” and they go and tell Jesus’s friends the message that Jesus was alive. Jesus then came among the disciples and his words to them were “peace be with you”. Jesus ate with them, he talked to them and he walked with them. Jesus had overcome death; he had beaten the darkness and made a new relationship with God for us that we could live with him forever.
Whatever is happening in your life today, whatever fear or worry you might have, I pray that you know again these words of do not be afraid and peace be with you. As we journey through Lent and into Holy Week and await the sunrise on Easter Sunday, I pray you will know this story is for you and for me and for a world full of worry and fear. Jesus overcame the grave to show God’s love, God’s life and God’s light for each one of us. As you look around at the beauty around us, may you feel the joy and the wonder of that first Easter morning, of the hope that Easter brings to us and may you know the blessings and the extravagance of God who loves you, with you this Easter time and always. Join us in our Holy Week preparations and our Easter celebrations.
With every blessing
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