Sunday 18th April

In the midst of a year that will stand out in history we have also had a week that will stand out in history too.

Regardless of what we may feel personally about HRH Prince Philip, there is no doubt that he has achieved and given so much in his life that has helped in the cause to save our planet and creation, and to give young people opportunities in life that they would never have had without the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. He was the longest serving consort in history, alongside the longest serving Monarch in our history, and had achieved an amazing seventy-three years married to Elizabeth our Queen. Often quietly devoted, sometimes putting his foot in it, being a gentle support and above all a person of laughter, well done good and faithful servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Queen in this sad time.

We are all able to go out now, as before if anyone is finding the prospect of leaving your home daunting, please say and we will come out with you. When we have these larger moments of change it isn’t always easy to make the move. We went to the beach last week for the first time since November, it did feel very strange, but so lovely to hear and see the waves.

Plus we are living in history and story this week as we hear in the account of Jesus appearing to the disciples as they eat together with friends their astonishment and fear at seeing him.

Acts 3 12-19 –“and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know”. What a wonderful way of speaking “the author of life” the one who came to rewrite the story, to change the story and to make it readable (for the most part) for everyone, to create a narrative that is not dead but alive. We have our Bible to direct and guide us as we read its life-giving story, Jesus is the one through whom it has come to life and the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to understand it.

I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed at the way scripture seems to change and new words and phrases jump out at me almost it seems from nowhere. This experience which I am sure you all have had too, allows us to identify with the account from Luke here: “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, suddenly they saw, suddenly the last piece of the jigsaw fitted into place in their minds”, What a privilege it is to be allowed to be part of the story the author of life has given us.

Luke 24: 36-48 “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence”. You see I am not sure I had not noticed before that the disciples also disbelieved, it wasn’t just Thomas, Thomas voiced his disbelief, Jesus could see it in the faces without the words, and he takes a piece of fish to eat. Then they are relieved, then they can hear and receive as he shares with them the way forward in the story.

Spring is here, new life is rising, the blossoms are creating fluffy trees, and the birds are gathering nesting materials. As we pray let’s remember those who have worked tirelessly and continue to do so, in finding new ways to combat this virus, testing old drugs and new to save lives, to bring us hope of returning to the new normal soon. Be expectant that God is travelling with you in the difficult and the joyous moments when you can’t see or feel his presence yourself or in others, and when you sense he is holding you close.

Be Blessed Rev Georgina