|Visitors to our villages are most welcome at our Church services. Do come along and join us. Holy Communion is held in Austwick Church every Wednesday at 10.30 am.
Vicar’s monthly letter
Alleluia! Proclaim the Good News
Young Christians who have just come into the faith often ask: Why is the resurrection so important? How can an event which took place 2000 years ago have any relevance for us today? Three very simple statements (not original to me) will bring us to the heart of the matter.
First, the resurrection of Christ assures of God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of humanity’s greatest needs. Jack Winslow, in his book Confession and absolution, says that the head of a large English mental hospital remarked that he could dismiss half of his patients immediately if they could be assured of forgiveness. The resurrection is convincing proof that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was accepted and this gives us the assurance that all our sins can be forgiven.
Second, the resurrection of Christ assured us of God’s power. It is one thing to be forgive, it is another to live above the power of sin. Men may change their ways, say some writers from non-Christian religions, but they can’t change their character. Well God can change people’s character. He did so with the apostle Paul, with Peter, and with countless others. Paul writes in Corinthians 1 ch 15 “that we might comprehend the power released in the world through the resurrection”.
Third, the resurrection assured us of God’s ultimate triumph. Other religions and ideologies have very vague ideas about the future. Some believe in endless cycles of incarnation, others nirvana. Christians, however, have a different hope. Death for a believer is nothing more than the anteroom to glory.
The resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith. On the last day, by God’s grace and mercy, we too will rise from the dead, body and soul, and receive the gift of everlasting life in the new kingdom. What better verses to commend then 1 Corinthians 15 v20-22: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”.
May you all have the hope of Easter in your hearts and lives.
Your friend and Vicar, Ian
(The Rev Canon Ian Greenhalgh)
(Contact details: Email: email@example.com; Tel: 015242 51313)