The Sunday Circuit Service from 10:30am onwards is led by Margaret Preece. The readings assigned for the day are Luke 24:36b-48, and 1 John 3:1-7. If you prefer to read the text of the sermon, please click here.
Live Zoom Service takes place every Sunday at 6pm prompt. Andrew Barraclough will lead the service on 18th April.
Meeting ID: 861 0815 4849
We are in the season which gives meaning to all seasons, for without Easter there would be no gospel, no message, no Church, no faith. We could still talk about that spectacular birth of Jesus in a stable, of his life, his ministry and his death, but without the empty tomb and the risen Christ it would simply be a story of tragedy rather than triumph. No wonder we celebrate Easter with real joy.
'He is not here. He has risen!' Words which were to change not only the lives of those who first went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, but the very course of history. For here is the message which turns our human expectations upside down, bringing laughter out of tears and victory out of defeat. What looked like a conclusive end turned out to be a new beginning, holding promise not just for one but for all, and across the centuries countless people have experienced the full wonder of that promise for themselves. Read for yourself that wonderful gospel story in John 20 verses 1 — 18, or Mark 16 verses 1 — 8. As you read the events of that first Easter reflect on what they meant then and what they continue to mean to us. Open your heart again to what God is able to do in your life through Jesus crucified and risen.
We might seem puzzled as we read about Mary Magdalene in the garden. How is it that, having been told that Jesus has risen, and then seeing him face to face, she does not realise who he is? She had watched as he drew his last breath on the cross. She had seen him carried limp and lifeless into the tomb. She had witnessed the stone being rolled across, and , understandably, she was convinced that it was all over, his life irrevocably extinguished. Anybody who has faced the apparent finality of the death of a loved one will understand those feelings.
Yet slowly the truth dawned. From that ending had come a new beginning, not just for Jesus but for Mary and everyone. Joy, hope, purpose, love, which had all been buried with Jesus in the tomb, came leaping back to life. The future that a moment before had seemed so empty was suddenly brimming over with promise. So it is with us, if we put our trust in God. We too can celebrate with joy and know that our life has purpose and meaning.
May God bless you all this Eastertide,
Rev. Diane Hicks
...blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin. (v. 8)