Mat’s April Letter

As I write we’re preparing to enter Holy Week. There are many great events planned to help us celebrate and proclaim God’s love for us shown through Good Friday and Easter Day. Alongside the regular services we have the ‘What is Hope’ Art Exhibition. In preparing for Holy Week I’ve spent some time reflecting on the hope that we have through Jesus. This hope is brought into sharper focus by the pain we see around us. I’ve found the recent news stories particularly hard; the jailing of three young men for the shooting of a child in London, the senseless murder of children in France, the continuing warring violence across the world, the famine taking hold in West Africa and those members of our own community struggling with life at this time.

Recently I was speaking to a colleague of mine. They were bemoaning the fact that we don’t reflect on the immense pain and suffering of Good Friday. It is in this pain that we see God’s love most starkly proclaimed. Our hope is magnified by it. Jesus did not have to undergo Calvary, he chose to. God’s Son chose to submit himself to pain, to enter into it, to risk defeat by it. Not much hope apparent there. The Roman state’s barbarism and power, the misguided religious authorities, greed, betrayal, the falleness of humanity seemed to have conspired together and won.

But three days later Jesus rose victorious from the dead defeating all that he had endured. A resurrected mind, body and spirit which shouts ‘HOPE’ that cannot be crushed or defeated.

Perhaps until we come to appreciate the magnitude of pain Jesus suffered it is hard to see and fully receive the magnitude of hope promised through him.

As we enter the season of Easter we would do well to reflect on the pain of the world and God entering into it. And then rejoice at our hope in Jesus who, driven by God’s immense love, came and entered fully into our lives so that we could follow him into eternal life where pain will be no more. (Revelation 21:4Open Link in New Window). There is glorious hope.

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ Romans 15:13Open Link in New Window

Mat

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