With the annual change to summmer time comes longer lighter evenings and, we hope, warmer ones as well. There is a lighter feel in the air; let that carry us forward to the Annual Meeting towards the end of the month..
With April comes Easter – and before you speak up, I do know that Easter can be in March although we have to wait until 2024 before that happens again. (Interestingly, next year Easter is on 1st April; I think there may be one or two mentions of the cross and
In April we have our Annual Church Meeting when we have the chance to look back at the previous year and also to look forward. I hope you have the date in your diary – 7.30pm, 26 April – and can be present. Before then we will know who has been nominated to stand
on Church Council. This is important: we do need folk to help run our church. Please consider and pray whether this might be you and if so fill in a nomination form. If you have questions any current member of council would be happy to talk to you.
Over recent weeks I have been preaching in the morning on discipleship, relying heavily on a short book by Rowan Williams, Being Disciples. There have been six topics:
We started with “Being disciples” learning the importance of simply spending time with Jesus, learning to be aware of God in our lives.
Faith, hope and love brought to mind 1 Corinthians 13 as we thought about what it is to be in a relationship that makes us whole.
Forgiveness took us into parts of the Lord’s Prayer, the bread of forgiveness, with which we can learn to nourish one another, forgiving and being forgiven.
When thinking about Holiness we were reminded that Jesus, the most holy of all, was set apart – one meaning of holiness – not to be remote but to be so deeply involved in the depths of our world that the end was the cross. There was the thought that meeting a holy person opens our eyes to see the world differently, to see ourselves differently.
Faith in Society raised the question of what part does discipleship, what part does Christian faith, have in our world today. And of the vital understanding that we are all of equal value before God and all dependent on each other.
And the last topic, Life in the spirit: how do we live a life that shows and shares Christian virtues: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
How well do we know ourselves?
I hope they have been an encouragement in our shared discipleship journeys. If you want to know more: read the book, it’s only 86 pages. Talking about discipleship need not be complicated. (There are longer books and I am not denigrating their value and worth –
simply a recognition that many of us find a shorter book a more helpful starting point.)
Many years ago the ruling authorities in Jerusalem thought they had crushed and buried a dangerous sect. The members of the sect had gone into hiding with all their hopes in tatters. Some people who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the festival walked home
downcast. “On the third day” everything changed. The followers of Jesus found hope reborn; the authorities wondered what they had to do next. Two thousand years later Easter still has the power to turn lives around. New disciples continue to be born as folk meet
the risen Jesus. The journey that Jesus and the disciples made to Jerusalem, the acclamation by the crowds that had turned to accusation, the strange Passover meal and the arrest in the garden, trial, crucifixion, death and burial turned out to be the overture not
the finale. Easter is to be celebrated. Easter is a perfect time to write the next chapter of