Sunday 12th April - Easter Sunday

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On being asked to comment on Churches being closed on Easter Sunday the Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell said: "The thing is this: in order to buy food I have to go to the supermarket (unless I am fortunate enough to be able to get it delivered) but God always does a door-to-door service – from God's heart straight to my heart, wherever I am." My prayer this morning is that this is your experience as you work your way through these thoughts.

BBC1 at 11:25am and 1:15pm will give you the opportunity to sing some traditional Easter songs, so on YouTube listen to or sing along with ‘Come people of the risen king lyrics)

Today we read Luke 24: 1-12

There are already discussions happening on TV and radio about how Covid19 will permanently alter the way we live our lives – I’m not so sure that this will happen – time will tell. Time does tell us that the events of that first Easter Sunday permanently altered how people live their lives – there is a song we occasionally sing which expresses how the risen Lord Jesus changes everything:

Because he lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because he lives, all fear is gone,

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living, just because He lives!

Gloria and William J Gaither © 1971 MPI publishing

You can listen to the whole song on YouTube ‘Because he lives lyrics’

If you read the other three gospel accounts of this first Easter morning, you find it hard to fit all the details into one smooth timeline, but this gives authenticity to the events recalled. If each gospel writer had received identical witness statements about this amazing event – then we should be looking at conspiracy, but instead we get the chaotic memories of people who are amazed, frightened and struggling to comprehend what happens – what is clear, one fact which remains constant – is Jesus has risen from the dead - and that fact changes everything. The scriptures tell us that because Jesus defeated sin and death we too through faith in him can be assured that we will know resurrection life, and more immediately know that because Jesus live I can face tomorrow

If you look up ‘the story behind the song ‘Because he lives’ you will read about the circumstances which caused Gloria to write in the final verse of the song: But greater still the calm assurance: this child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

We don’t need to be in that same set of circumstances to know the truth of this statement but because of the events of that first Easter Sunday we can be assured that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, with Jesus alongside us we can get through them. Say out loud: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

Most of you will be able to recall your baptism where having made your declaration of faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord you then symbolically died to your old life as you went into a watery tomb as you went under the water in the baptistery and then rising up out of that watery grave to life a new life with Jesus at the centre of it. Once more say out loud: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again!

Hopefully you have the cross which you cut out on Good Friday. Decorate it with a sun-burst, or a phrase such as ‘He is risen’ or perhps fill=in the cross with flowers. When you have finished send photo of it to me, and I will post them on the Gallery page of the church website, then:

hold the cross vertically, and think of the branches waved by the crowd last Sunday –

what praises – thanks – do you want to say to Jesus the king.

hold the cross on the palm of your hand, and to think of Jesus carrying the cross –

Thanks Jesus, for bearing our sins –

Taking on the full guilt we feel for not loving God as we ought to

Next, hold the cross by its horizontal bar and think of Jesus nailed to the cross –

praise God for Jesus’ sacrifice - paying the price for our disobedience.

Finally, hold the cross vertically again, and see it is empty –

 praise God for Jesus our risen Saviour who we can talk to everyday

My final song recommendation, is not specifically an Easter song, but one which does capture both the joy of Easter Sunday and the reason why Jesus’ resurrection is such wonderfully good news: YouTube ‘We the kingdom sing wherever you go lyrics’

If you have a church directory phone up the person whose name comes after yours (unless you already regularly talk with them - in which case go to the next one – note that there are people on the list who are no longer contactable – they are with Christ in glory) If you don’t have a church directory look through your own list of phone numbers and see if there is someone from church who you haven’t spoken to recently – and phone them.

From Monday (13th) through to Friday (17th) ‘Spring Harvest’ the Christian event which is usually held over Easter will be posting on YouTube in both the morning and evening. There you will be able to enjoy excellent worship and bible teaching / preaching.

I look forward to receiving your pictures of your cross, and will write again on Wednesday - Stephen

Page last updated: 25th April 2020 11:58 AM