Thursday 9th April - Maundy Thursday - Ron

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Don’t panic!!!! Don’t panic Mr Mannering!!!

 

For those who are familiar with Dad’s Army you will have laughed many times at the antics of Corporal Jones creating panic and fear in his effort to quell it! The churches along with many other aspects of our daily life are in lock down, and there is a great deal of anxiety and fear all around. It is important that our Christian faith, and belief, does not also go into lock down!

 

An elderly deacon in one the churches I served as minister told me, and many others, that you cannot be a Christian and be afraid. Well that’s me and most other people outside the kingdom! In these unusual times, we can draw strength and comfort from the life and teachings of Jesus, and particularly the message of Easter.

 

Firstly, let us clear up any idea that fear, anxiety and even panic are basically sins. They are words describing how we react and feel. If the house is on fire it might be good time for fear and panic to get us to the phone to call the Fire Brigade!

 

Very shortly we will be celebrating Easter, and there will be much to help us through these troubled times. Not the Easter of eggs, bunnies and hot cross buns, but the time of horror, dread and triumph that Jesus bore for us and achieved for us.

 

We will journey with Jesus through worst of all situations to the triumph of the resurrection. Make no mistake, crucifixion was the worst of situations. A punishment that was reserved for those judged to be the lowest and worst of criminals. No Roman citizen would ever suffer it, but the rebellious slaves and ordinary people who stepped out of line would be left on crosses lining streets into Rome and other big cities. This was the punishment that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, suffered for our sake.

 

There are three occurrences that I feel must be part of our journey.

Firstly, Gethsemane (Luke Ch. 22v 39 …) and Jesus prayer asking his heavenly Father if there was another way. At first, it seems that Jesus just sought extra strength and assurance. ‘Father if you are willing take this cup from me. Yet not my will but yours be done’ but read on! An angel strengthens Him. He prays more earnestly.  The sweat drips from His face likes drops of blood. He will tread the path, but this will be a dreadful and fearful experience.

 

Secondly, the awful cry of Jesus ‘My God, my God why have you forsaken me.‘ (Mark Ch.15v33…) There are surely times, for most of us, when we have felt forsaken by everybody. Even God!  This is not Jesus play acting. This what he felt, BUT this was not the end.

 

Finally, as the breath of earthly life leaves ….

‘FATHER INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT’ (Luke 23: 46). 

Jesus has completed the work of our redemption. LET’S NOT FORGET THAT AHEAD IS THE TRIUMPH OF THE RESURRECTION!

 

TO CLOSE SOME WORDS OF PAUL. (Romans 8: 37-39)

‘In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons,

neither the present or the future, neither height nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us

from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.’

 

If PAUL WAS WRITING THESE WORDS TODAY UNDOUBTEDLY HE WOULD HAVE INCLUDED IN HIS LIST COVID19! My dear friends be confident in the Lord, take hold of the triumph of the Cross and the glorious promise of the resurrection - Every blessing Ron

 

Whilst listening to a mix of Christian songs on YouTube the other day, I heard one that I had never listened to before. It is called “My life is in your hands” (No matter what may come my way) and is sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. This song really spoke to me and it echoes the theme that Ron has talked about. No matter what may come our way our lives are in Jesus’ hands. – Rebecca

 

Before tomorrow (Good Friday) return the outline of a cross which you drew on Sunday and around the cross write words which describe what is wrong with the world (greed / hunger / global warming etc…) - and what’s wrong within our own lives (loneliness – or lack of ‘alone time’ etc…)

Stephen


Page last updated: 25th April 2020 11:53 AM