Mat’s May Letter

I’ve been told that one of the Easter morning congregation stepped into the kingdom of God for the first time. Alleluia!

I don’t yet have the full details but my suspicion is that this is a culmination of the Holy Spirit’s prompting through a number of witnesses who in different ways have proclaimed the gospel of Christ over a period of time. I say this because this is how the majority of people come to faith in the risen Lord Jesus. This encourages me to be a little bolder in my witness to the risen Jesus. No matter how small, weak or insignificant I may feel my witness to be it can be used by the Holy Spirit to draw others to Jesus. The differences in my life, the ones I have discovered as I follow Jesus speak of Him, if I speak of them.

On Easter morning I used a prayer by Brian McClaren which I have adapted below. I pray that it will encourage us to witness in word and action to the risen Jesus, and to pray earnestly that others will come into His kingdom. Maybe you would like to pray it for yourself and St Matthew’s.

Help us to know that it is enough
Simply and faithfully to tell the story
Of women in dawn hush … Of men running half-believing … Of rolled stones and folded grave-clothes … Of a supposed gardener saying the name of a crying woman
Of sad walkers encountering a stranger on the road home
Of an empty tomb and overflowing hearts.
Make us less conscious of our responsibility to witness,
And more confident of the Risen Christ
Whose presence trumps all efforts to proclaim it.
I pray we all will be surpassed by the simple joy
Of daring to proclaim and echo the good news:
Risen indeed! Alleluia!
For death is not the last word. Violence is not the last word.
Hate is not the last word. Money is not the last word.
Intimidation is not the last word. Political power is not the last word. Condemnation is not the last word. Betrayal and failure are not the last word.
No: each of them are left like rags in a tomb,
And from that tomb,
Arises Christ, — Alive!
Help we who witness know it and feel it,
And if we don’t feel it, help us to say it anyway,
Allowing ourselves, to be the receivers as well as the bearers of the Easter News. Alleluia!

Mat

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