April Letter from Mat

I love Easter. The story of Jesus’ triumphal entry, betrayal, death and resurrection explodes out of the end of Lent. For me Easter brings hope, life and joy. It says that no matter what happens God can raise new life and more than that Easter reminds us that we are a resurrection people; that we are already citizens of heaven through the grace and love of God. Alleluia!

I hope that over the Easter period each of us can take or make some time to reflect and worship through some of the services on offer throughout Holy Week. And I pray that God will refresh us and renew us through his Holy Spirit.

Easter’s story is the beginning of full life in Christ not the end point. Each of us is called to live out that resurrected life 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. I hope that those of you who have managed to attend the Wednesday evening discipleship sessions through Lent have found those helpful in providing tools to enable your discipleship. And I hope that all of us have found Lent to be a time of growth in Christ.

Reflecting on the life of St Matthew’s at this time it seems to me that the next growth stage for us is to see new people come to faith in Jesus. I suspect that over the years many of us have lost confidence in the power of the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. As society has become increasingly secular it seems we as church, and as individuals have become more cautious of speaking about our faith for fear of offending or looking foolish—or both. What was it Paul said about being fools for Christ? (1 Corinthians 2Open Link in New Window) However, it also seems to me that St Matthew’s as a community is becoming increasingly confident in Christ’s power to change lives as we see God moving amongst us (that’s why sharing God stories with one another is so important).

If God can raise from the dead and if the disciples can risk their lives to proclaim the truth about Jesus’ death and resurrection then surely we too can take a risk and speak when the opportunity presents itself. People don’t become Christians in isolation. They come through the Holy Spirit working in and through the community of God, through me and you. So this Easter, lets take confidence in Jesus resurrection. Let’s take courage and allow the Holy Spirit to spill out in our conversations. ‘Jesus is alive’ is the best news—it would be a tragedy to keep it to ourselves. And if you want help in sharing your faith you can always use the Christianity from Scratch course, that’s what it’s for.

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