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Easter thoughts 2

Good Morning Everyone and a very Blessed EAster to you all.

Have been up early and written Easter thoughts No2: – based on that wonderful T-mobile Ad of the Royals dancing down the aisle:

It starts off like “Easter Thoughts I”  and then digresses:

Homily for Easter 2011

Well, it’s the event that everybody seems to be talking about, some with more enthusiasm than others.

“ It’s good because it takes our mind off all the gloom and doom” I have heard said.

So, are you a lover of the Royals and can’t wait to celebrate with them next Friday – or are you rather disenchanted with it all and will make a point of avoiding all the hype?

Have you bought any of the memorabilia yet which has been produced for the day?

It is thought that the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton next Friday will  provide a £527.1 million boost for UK retailers.

The Government of course decided to make April 29th a bank holiday and on that day it has been  estimated that in the UK £4.6M will be spent every hour – a lot of it on food and drink –including £9M on champagne. Then there is the vast array of memorabilia – from coins, mugs, pottery, replica jewellry, specially brewed beer and underwear with Will and Kate blazoned over the front or back. Own up – have any of you acquired any yet? Its not a totally new idea of course – here is a commemoration mug of June 22nd 1911 – nearly 100 years old – Queen Mary and George V.

For me, the best and funniest thing that has come out of the Royal Wedding industry is a short video made by the mobile phone company T-Mobile. It is the latest in a series of promotional ads to sell their wares – and they hire a gang of Royal look- a- likes all dressed in glorious wedding  gear, an international congregation and  St Bartholomew’s Church in London. As the rock tune “ House of Love”  strikes up  and the beef eaters begin to jive, in comes the Archbishop of Canterbury clapping and swaying followed by  the Royal family entering the church for THE wedding.  At first glance, you have to wonder if it really is the royals- the look-a-likes are so good you could be fooled into thinking they were all in there letting their hair down.

It finishes with the banner across the screen “ One’s life is for sharing” – a royal twist on T-mobile’s motto “ Life is for Sharing”

Apart from the comedy aspect of it – I rather like the sentiment we are left with  – “Life is for sharing”. It is a perfect reminder of what we are about on this Easter Day.

Amongst the amazing things which Jesus said to his friends during the last weeks of his life was this: “ I am the resurrection and the Life – he who believes in me, though he die yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” He had just brought his friend Lazarus back to life and he was telling those stunned by this miracle that those who became associated with him, those who let themselves get caught up in his presence would enter into a kind of life often called eternal life – life shared with God for ever.

The heart of Christian teaching about the cross was that in some mysterious and powerful way, when Jesus died on the cross he took upon himself  the sins of the world, our sins, your sins and the ever present possibility of those sins forgiven and a new life begun.

When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus risen from death in the Easter garden very quickly she was given a mandate to go and tell – to tell her friends what she had witnessed. She was to share what she had seen, not keep this momentous news of new life to herself and so we read “ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples “ I have seen the Lord”

 The resurrection of Jesus was for sharing – not for a small group of friends to keep all to themselves. They didn’t have the advantage of mobile phones or mass media to convey their message. It was all by word of mouth, personal encounter. Life is for sharing – once Jesus had ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit came to enthuse his followers, they turned into a missionary band whose message was full of the Good News of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen, ascended – his life  and love available to all who believe in him.

 “ Jesus is for sharing” – 2,000 years on that message is still buzzing round the world.

Every Christian Group has a mandate to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We may never know how our witness effects those around us. A few of us went to a local nursing home just before Easter  and sung some well known Easter hymns. It seemed to us there were fewer folk left in the room after we had finished – yet some days afterwards someone said to me that several of the residents who were bed bound had heard our singing and really enjoyed it. We had no idea of the effect we had had – again rather like someone who lives opposite the church  who said she always likes it when the light is on in the church at night – it cheers her up. There are many ways to share the life and light of God locally and  in our troubled world – just one of them will be getting our bells ringing again after many years of silence. Jesus Christ and the life he brings is for sharing – let’s ring our faith out!  Faith is for sharing – and it’s never too late to give and receive that faith.

It’s never too late to find something new out about Gods love for us and pass it on.  Never too late to try and grapple with the ever present reality of pain and suffering in our world and make sense of it against the background of God’s immersion in every part of human living. Never too late to understand, as Helen Keller wrote “ Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it”

I read in my safe warm spring garden yesterday an article in the Church Times by chaplain in Afghanistan, Antony Feltham-White. Some of us met him last year when he preached at Great Paxton. He writes of how some of his soldiers from 2nd battalion the parachute regiment had cleared a village of IEDs – those vicious improvised explosive devices and brought  the village “ back from the dead” . Once again its inhabitants  could return and rebuild their lives. In the course of this clearing, one of his soldiers died – a life shed to bring new life to others.  “ God has shown me that whenever I confront death, there also will I find life”. Humbling words from a man who has seen far more trauma and pain than most of us thankfully ever will.

Even in the saddest, most harrowing of circumstances, we can find a strand of resurrection life. 

 “ He is Risen from the dead!” exclaims Mary – words which miraculously have reached us down the centuries – and are as fresh and relevant as they ever were. May his resurrection life fill the dark places of our lives, give us renewed courage as we negotiate life’s twists and turns and give meaning to all that we experience and strive for. Amen.

Hope you all have a lovely Day.

Paxtonvic

April 24, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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