Mat’s May Letter

I hope that you all had a good and blessed Easter. I really enjoyed Easter at St Matthew’s. I was struck again by the lengths that God went to in order to redeem us and the whole of creation, and by the power and glorious victory of the cross and resurrection. Praise God!

I also noticed a few details in the story that hadn’t struck me before. This year it was the blindness of the religious authorities. So convinced were they of their assessment of Jesus that they sent him to die, even though there was no obvious crime, and then tried to seal the tomb. They preferred to believe their own understanding rather than be open to the possibility that Jesus really was the Messiah. I suspect that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah they were expecting. I wonder if I had been a religious leader at the time would I have been any better?

It can be very easy for us to think that we have God ‘boxed’. We know what to expect. After all ‘I’ve read my bible and been a Christian for so many years now that I think I recognise the work of God and understand him.’ Have we too lost the ability to be surprised by God?

In the Bible God often ‘breaks the mould’ and does things in surprising ways. We are called to new ways of being and living that speak of the living love and goodness of God in our constantly changing world. Are we sometimes guilty of standing by the tomb looking at where Jesus was rather than following the living Jesus?

In John’s gospel after Mary hears the resurrected Jesus call her name he says, ‘don’t hold on to me, for I need to ascend to my Father … and you need to go and tell my brothers that I am risen’. (paraphrase of John 20:17Open Link in New Window)

The way of the risen Jesus is one of following a living Lord in a changing world; a world that God loved so much that he sent Jesus. As the world changes so the medium of God’s message must change. To be alive in Christ is to be moving, following, listening, witnessing and being open to his voice. Sometimes that voice will come in ways that we expect and sometimes God will surprise us with what he’s doing and how he’s doing it.

Exciting isn’t it!

Mat

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