“From one extreme to the other” is a phrase we hear from time to time. The first Easter was like that. The devastation of Jesus’ arrest as He was snatched away from His closest, from His nearest and dearest, to suffer in so many ways and be crucified. Hanging there naked and mocked, body racked in pain, then afflicted by His heavenly Father as he drank the cup of God’s wrath, bearing the sin of the world. On the third day the devastation continued for those dear ones who had risen early to anoint His body. They didn’t seem to have thought this painful though lovely act of love through – who was going to move the stone out of the way for them? (Anyway, Jesus’ body was beautifully anointed before His death wasn’t it?) Who’d taken the body of their precious one away? “Mary” the supposed gardener said. Disbelief, run through with surprise and joy?
The dead and lost One was there, amongst them, risen with the marks of love in His hands and feet and side, speaking peace and love and assurance, available to be touched, appearing and disappearing, even cooking a meal in the lake side and restoring Peter to Himself.
What a great salvation we have! Let’s take to heart the warning and the encouragement of Hebrews Chapter 2 verses 1-4
“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
To use Paul’s command in Colossians 3 v 16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly ..” Let the message of our Lord’s death & suffering and mighty resurrection dwell in us richly, increase our love for each other and cause us to be even more outward looking as we share the good news.
On Good Friday we’ll have the two walks of witness. In Matlock Bath the cross will already be in place and we will stop to sing at two places in the village to worship on the way to the Memorial Gardens for a short service. The idea is that our worship will attract people of peace who we’ll be able to talk with about Jesus. Tracts and Easter eggs will be available to give out. Some of us won’t be comfortable speaking to strangers, if that’s you simply worship and pray.
St. Mary’s service is at Cromford Methodist Church before our walk to the Memorial Gardens for a short service.
Both the Annual Vestry and Annual Parochial Meetings are in early April, St. Mary’s on Tuesday 4th at 2pm in church, Holy Trinity’s on Sunday 2nd during and after the service. The idea of these meetings (most meetings?) doesn’t usually thrill us however though legal meetings these are church meetings, God’s people, those who have turned from darkness to the light, who have already received eternal life etc. Please do attend, don’t miss because it’s a meeting or because you are busy. At Holy Trinity the All Age Worship Service will be an integral part of and very relevant to the business meeting.
Do please continue to pray for these meetings especially for the elections.
Easter Devotions are as per the calendar, please sign up for the Maundy Thursday Agape, as Cromford Methodist will be joining us this year.
Readers: Mike and Richard start their 10 week placements from today. Mike will be at St Mary and All Saints (Crooked Spire) in Chesterfield, though he may spend a lot of time at St Leonards Mission Church in Spital. Richard will be working with the Buxton team.
Your prayers please for Lindsay (Steele) who has told us that she is having an operation for cancer next week and has surgery arranged for Tuesday 28th to remove a cancerous growth in bowel. The consultant said that her CT scan doesn’t show any spread to other organs and he seems very positive about a good outcome. There have been no symptoms and this was just picked up on a routine check so hopefully it’s been caught early. Obviously Lindsay will be out of action for a while after operation. She says that she wasn’t expecting the operation to be happening so soon but is pleased it is.
And your prayers also for Kelvin (and family) as well as for Lindsay will be much appreciated, especially that she will continue to be as aware of God’s presence and peace as she has in the last two weeks.