Easter Pastoral Letter

EASTER LETTER

Hello everyone

I do hope and pray that all of you are in good health and keeping yourselves safe and sound. I’m trying to ring round each of you to have a chat and hopefully lift your spirits! If there is anyone I’ve missed contacting then please do let me know. It’s not easy being in lockdown and I’m so looking forward to the time when we can all be back together again at The Mission when the “all clear” is finally sounded.

 

Easter is not going to be the same this year but the message is the same in that we have a loving Lord Jesus who has been raised from the dead and who promises us all new and eternal life through the power of His Love! Alleluia! Please remember that even if you’re on your own, you are never alone because our loving Heavenly Father is always with you. I do hope that you find the attached sermon uplifting and helpful in sustaining us through this difficult time.

 

I am here for all of you and if you need me or I can be of any help then please get in touch.

 

A Blessed and Peaceful Easter to each and every one of you.

JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN TODAY! ALLELUIA!

With love and every blessing from Peter

 

EASTER MESSAGE

Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock.”

I’ve spent Holy Week in many different places but never in lockdown. Lockdown has meant isolation and a sense of being cut off from others and from the normal course of life. Solitude and loneliness have increased and for many thousands the pain of isolation is acute and heightened due to bereavement and not being able to be with our nearest and dearest even in their final hours. Thousands have died alone and been sent on their final journey alone. Again, many have been trapped in non-loving or abusive relationships with their well-being threatened on a daily or hourly basis. The wonders of modern technology have lessened the impact of loneliness to some degree, but you can’t give someone an actual loving embrace by e-mail or video link. This period has reminded us that at the most important times of our lives we stand alone just as Jesus hung alone on The Cross and cried “My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

 

But how alone are you and I address this question not just to Christian believers but to everyone because comfort is not the exclusive right of believers. Christianity is not a prize to be won but a gift to be claimed and there are no outsiders for God chose us all when Jesus died on The Cross. In dying as He did Jesus identified totally with our pain, grief, loneliness and isolation. He stood where you and I are standing now, and He did that for all time and in all circumstances. There is no broken heart that God cannot and does not identify with. You may feel alone right now: you may be crying alone right now: but you are not and never will be. Jesus took everything that this life and fallen humanity could dish out, including Corona Virus and its effects, and He hung there in isolation: the same isolation and lock down that we are experiencing right now. God never promised us a pain free existence on earth.

 

BUT HE DIDN’T STAY THERE AND NEITHER WILL WE. His dead body was removed from the Cross, just one more casualty of life’s cruelty and He was laid in complete isolation within a stone tomb for even in death Jesus was in lockdown. And just to cap His isolation a boulder was placed across the entrance. BUT LOCKDOWN DOES NOT MEAN LOCKED OUT for none of us can ever be locked out of God’s amazing love. For three days the earth held its breath in eerie stillness and then God stood at the door and knocked just as He’s knocking on your door right now. The stone was rolled away and Jesus walked from the tomb into the loving arms of His heavenly Father: free from fear, free from loneliness, free from heartbreak, free from isolation. And it will be the same for you when God knocks on the door of your life. You can restrict contact with everyone else but not with God because He’s already with you. The only door that you need to open is the door of your heart and embrace Him as your companion whatever the circumstances.

 

He does not spare us the trials but accompanies us through them and shares our pain. No one knows us better than our Heavenly Father. No, He does not spare us the trials but promises us The triumph beyond them for the power of Love which raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that will raise us from death and far far beyond all the restrictions and isolation of this life into the blessed company of the Heavenly Host: free at last, free at last, thank God we’re free at last!

 

ALLELUIA, CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA! Amen.

 


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