Jon's Pastor's Letter, April 2018
A few weeks ago on a Sunday where Fiona and I had no responsibilities during the meeting we took the bold step of sitting in a different place (not easy – but it can be done!). We sat high in the back seats looking down on the Church family, and although this meant that mostly we were looking at the back of people’s heads, it was great to watch the Church gather to worship from a different perspective.
During the worship, however, as we stood to sing, I looked over the Family and was suddenly quite overwhelmed with a sense of love and compassion for the Church. I looked from one person to another, and I was very aware of the difficulties and pain that so many were dealing with. I was aware of grief, loss, physical and mental pain, relationship struggles, illness and fear, but I was also so aware of the presence of God with us in our circumstances. I was aware that this Family, facing so much trial, was standing and declaring their hope in Christ, their faith in God, their love and adoration and expectation. I was also aware of God’s incredible love as he surrounded and protected and lifted us.
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate that Christ has risen and has conquered sin and death. It is because of God’s amazing love as he went to the cross, and his sovereign power as he rose again, that we can live with hope in a world that can so often bring great trial. We are a people of the resurrection, with a hope that surpasses all pain, and a Gospel message to bring to a community around us that so needs the love and power of a Saviour.
My prayer, this Easter and in the coming season is that we would know, more and more, the love and power of Christ in our lives, and would live together as a people of hope, a people who know that ‘He has risen’!!
Love and Joy