Letter to the Parish - Friday 2 April 2021

First published on: 2nd April 2021

Dear all,

The sun was shining for a couple of days this week, oh and what a joy it was! The mood in our house was uplifted, we enjoyed the garden, looking at the daffodils basking in the sun, listened to the birds sing their songs, ate food outside and enjoyed the heat of the sun on our skin. But as soon as it arrives it is gone and if certain reports are to be believed it will be replaced by snow. Every year it seems we have a similar experience; the weather gets warm, we crack out the flipflops and the barbecues, only for the hope of a long heatwave to disappear into the disappointment of dreary cold and wet.

How much more must the disciples have thought like that on that first Easter week? They had been following Jesus for years, watching him heal the sick, calm the storms, cast out demons, they had listened to His teaching, they had hope that He was the real deal. They were convinced that He was the expected Messiah. But as the week unfolds, they betray and deny Him, they go into hiding. As they watch their Hope being tried and crucified, all seems to be lost; surely this was just another false dawn, all the hope is gone.

But… cut to three days later and the tomb is empty and there is excitement and confusion. What has gone on? Then they see the risen Lord! Hope is restored!

I always love the encounter of the two followers walking to Emmaus, downcast and dejected, talking and trying to work out all that has happened. Jesus comes alongside them as they are walking, and He says to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?”. And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in ALL THE SCRIPTURES concerning Himself (Luke 24:25-27). This was all prophesied about and this is what needed to happen. 

Death is defeated, and sins are forgiven. In Him we have hope, not a temporary fix, not a maybe hope but a true hope that lasts an eternity.

I wish you all a happy Easter and, even though we may be deep in snow, that you will find time to relax and enjoy yourselves. But most of all may the Hope of Jesus Christ the saviour of the whole world be a comfort and encouragement to you.

God Bless,

Gareth.


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