• Early On the First Day
    photography of clouds and forest trees

    JUST A THOUGHT

    This truly is the Day of days! The poet John Donne expressed it perfectly:
    “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.
    One short sleep past, and we wake eternally.
    And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!”

    Jesus’ rising from the dead carries the wonderful promise that we have new life to look forward to, not only after this life on earth is over, but in a spiritual dimension during this life that brings with it a new and lasting joy and peace.

    May this be a truly happy day for you and those you love.

    EASTER PRAYER

    Lord God, early in the morning, when the world was young,
    you made life in all its beauty; you gave birth to all that we know.
    Hallowed be your name.

    Early in the morning, when the world least expected it,
    a newborn child crying in a cradle announced that you had come to us, that you were one of us.
    Hallowed be your name.

    .Early in the morning, surrounded by respectable religious leaders, anxious statesmen and silent friends,
    you accepted the penalty for doing good, for being God:
    you shouldered and suffered the cross.
    Hallowed be your name.

    Early in the morning, a voice in a guarded graveyard
    proved that you had risen,
    that you had come to those and for those
    who had forgotten, denied and destroyed you.
    Hallowed be your name.

    This morning, in the multi-coloured company of your Church
    Here on earth and in heaven, we celebrate your creation,
    your life, your death and resurrection, your love for us.
    So we pray for our world, our families and friend, ourselves:
    Lord, bring new life where we are worn and tired;
    new love where we have turned hard-hearted;
    Forgiveness, where we have caused pain;
    And the joy and freedom of your Spirit
    To take us forward into all that you have for us.

    To all and to each, Jesus pronounces his pardon
    and grants us the right to begin again.

    THANKS BE TO GOD! AMEN

  • Were You There?
    brown concrete building during night time

    JUST A THOUGHT

    We think today of how, Jesus, the man who lived God’s love like no other, allowed himself to be put to death by crucifixion, the cruel Roman form of death sentence. “Good Friday” really means “God Friday”, because Jesus, the man who died, was also the Son of God.

    The entire Bible is about God connecting with us, his creation, through Jesus, the Son.

    The New Testament is about the life of Jesus and the shockwaves that followed from his death and resurrection. He lived a life like ours, with its joys and sorrows, but without sin, to do what no one else could achieve: die for all creation, so that we might begin to understand our true spirituality: connection with the Spirit of Love.

    This is why today is also “Good Friday”: good for all the world, because, as we sing: “He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.”

    Good Friday is a sombre, sorrowful day, but we know what the disciples and Jesus’ mother did not know: there’s a new day coming and on the third day, Easter Sunday, we’ll be celebrating new life, now and into eternity.

    AND A PRAYER

    Jesus, you died for us with arms outstretched on a cross:
    We pray for our world, where you suffer still
    with those who are suffering.

    You died for us, falsely accused, mocked and condemned to death:
    We pray for all who lead the nations,
    those who make and administer laws,
    for all who are denied justice.

    You died for us, denied, deserted and rejected by those you loved:
    We pray for all who feel the hurt of rejected love,
    the pain of betrayal and abandonment.

    You died for us to show your great love for all people:
    We pray for those in sickness, sorrow, grief or pain.
    You died to show your love for all people
    Who live and work in our community,
    our families and friends and all whom we love.

    You died for us with arms outstretched upon a cross:
    With the women who loved you and ministered to you
    and with the disciple whom you loved.
    May we stand with you this day.

    Amen

  • Love Gives
    red heart and man hanging drawing

    JUST A THOUGHT

    Easter is just four weeks away, when we remember with sorrow and then with joy, the events that took place to fulfil God’s promise that He would save his creation from the path to destruction that they had chosen: Jesus’ last Passover meal with his disciples; Good Friday, when he gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice; and Easter Sunday when he was discovered, no longer buried in a sealed tomb –  but alive!  God so loved the world that he gave Jesus to us.

    Jesus so loved the world that he gave his life for us. And when he returned to
    the God, he gave us his love in the person of the Holy Spirit to be with us,
    giving us his constant guidance. Giving costs but Love continues to give.

    AND A PRAYER

    Father, when we think of how you loved the world so much
    that you were prepared to give your Son
    as the sacrifice, the payment for the sin of the world,                                                     
    we know that we can only respond
    with the deepest gratitude
    and a willingness to let his love rule our lives,
    so that as your people, we may honour you
    and be a blessing to your world.

    Amen

  • Taking Up Our Cross
    Jesus Cross Faith Crucifixion  - geralt / Pixabay
    geralt / Pixabay

    JUST A THOUGHT

    In Roman occupied Jerusalem, the cross as an instrument of death would have been a common, but fearful sight. What an image for Jesus to use as he talked to his disciples about the death to self that followers of Jesus must be willing to seek! “Take up your cross and follow me.”

    The apostle Paul realised that to have faith in Jesus was to identify with him in his death; so he could say, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
    This is the new life that Jesus promised his first followers.

    And it’s his promise to us as we are called to live in ways that bring honour to him and blessing to those around us. We know that we don’t do that very well in our own strength, but we can remind ourselves of his Spirit’s presence with us and pay attention to his leading, prompting, guiding, remembering that the symbol of the cross is “I” crossed out.

    AND A PRAYER

    God our keeper and companion,
    It is our prayer that whatever joys or sorrows
    the future may hold,
    you will be the dawn for which we wait and look,
    the hope by which we live,
    the joy for which we long.
    And that You will be our freedom, now and forever.

              Amen

  • A Little Child Shall Lead Them

    The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; 
    but just as new branches sprout from a stump,
    so a new king will arise from among David’s descendants.

    The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom
         and the knowledge and skill to rule his people.
    He will know the Lord’s will and honour him,
    and find pleasure in obeying him.
    He will not judge by appearance or hearsay;
         he will judge the poor fairly
    and defend the rights of the helpless.
    At his command people will be punished
    and evil persons will die.
    He will rule his people with justice and integrity. 

    Wolves and sheep will live together in peace,
         and leopards will lie down with young goats.
    Calves and lion cubs will feed together,
    and a little child will lead them.