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Dear Friends

A joyful Easter to you all! May it be a time when you are strengthened in Resurrection Life of Jesus, the first fruits of the New Creation.

The Resurrection of Jesus was and is the most important event of all time, changing everything. On the cross, and in the resurrection Jesus, God’s Son, has overcome sin and death through forgiveness and love, restored humanity to the intended fellowship with God and opened the gate to life eternal now and for ever.

Easter is the longest of our Festival Seasons, stretching from Easter Day to Whit Sunday, 50 days altogether, 40 before the Ascension and then10 the final days that have a different feel as we ‘join’ the disciples in waiting the coming of the Holy Spirit on Whit Sunday. That day marks the birth of the Church, the living Body of Christ alive in the world today. To focus on the resurrection inEasterand as time goes on longing for the Spirit to empower us in this life, gives us opportunities tofurther open ourselves to his new, risen life with all its implications and possibilities.

And there are huge implications. On the cross the ways and values of the world have been exposed as shallow and hollow. Jesus defeated them: his weakness over strength; foolishness over wisdom; truth over lies; forgiveness over bitterness and vengeance; love over hate; life over death. Sin, that is all that separates us from God, has been defeated, fellowship with God offered to all. True life is to be found in lives lived by this pattern of love and forgiveness, and our full humanity, our true selves discovered.

Following this pattern of life is hard; that needs to be emphasised. The world offers us so many other attractions, that can be so beguiling and compelling, but turn out to be empty and of no real value. God hasnot left us unaided in our struggles. He sends the Holy Spirit, initially in baptism, where we die and rise with him into his new life and are empowered by the Spirit.And then day, by the power of the Holy Spirit,  he renews and refreshes us by coming to us in theother Sacraments, in the Bible, and in Prayer. St Paul describes his presence in this way: ‘it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.

So as we journey together through Easter, let us journey together, living in his new life and knowing our need for the Holy Spirit to bring forth fruits of joy, peace, mercy, forgiveness, humility, thankfulness; and know more of the fullness of living his life and the completeness of our persons as his people, living in fellowship together.

Wishing you every blessing, joy and strengthening in the resurrection life

James


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Webpage icon Magazine articles December 2017