Easter Message

Easter Message

Genesis 12: 1-4  God Calls Abram

12 The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country and your people. Leave your father’s family and go to the country that I will show you.I will use you to bless all the people on earth.”So Abram left Haran just like the Lord told him.

 

What scares you? Spiders, snakes, the dark or perhaps heights? I’m personally not good with heights and I’m in no hurry to go up St Oswald’s tower. One thing most of us are probably wary about is the unknown. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it also brings a sense of security. The thought of venturing out into the unknown can be a daunting challenge we might prefer to avoid. Change can be disorienting.

 

This though, was the challenge faced by Abram, later called Abraham. He and his family were settled in the town of Haran, when he suddenly felt God’s call to move on. Yet the destination was unclear, as were any details as to what he might find when he got there. It was a real step into the unknown, a journey of faith. We may or may not be called to make such big changes but there are times when we need to let go of the tried and trusted. We may be called to new ventures or new responsibilities not knowing what is around the corner or what will be demanded of us. We may need to embrace new ideas or explore new horizons and have no way of telling what will happen.

 

Easter

This was certainly true for the disciples of Jesus. Easter is now upon us, that great and joyful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet before resurrection comes the pain of crucifixion. Through these events the frightened and bewildered disciples find that their whole lives change. Yet in spite of their fear and the traumatic events they encounter, they move on encouraged by the presence of the risen Jesus Christ. They may be in grave danger themselves, but they bear witness to the most mystifying of changes – of Christ who was crucified, dead and buried, being risen. One of my favourite stories of Easter is the encounter between two disciples heading to Emmaus when they meet a stranger. It turns out to be Jesus, and as they reflect upon the experience they say “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24: 19-35)

 

Easter is a time of great change. A change from death to life both literally for Jesus and spiritually for us. It is a turning point. The risen Jesus challenges us to constantly change to become the living, joyful and welcoming ‘Body of Christ’ here on earth.  A body of believers who are not afraid to step out in faith, who seek where the Lord is leading, to be renewed and alive, like a resurrection. Same old same old is not good enough for Jesus and it should not be for us either!

 

May you be richly blessed by the risen and glorified presence of Jesus this Easter.

Revd. Nigel Chapman

Vicar