A New Year letter from Revd. Terry Keen, Superintendent Minister of the Calderdale Circuit.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this article it is only three weeks since Christmas and the celebration of Jesus' birth. As you read the article it will be about eight weeks to Easter when we will be remembering Jesus' death and celebrating his resurrection. What a weird time in church life!!

To help write what I want to say I have just done a quick search on the internet to find out what there is there about Easter. I was amazed to find that most of the references were to eggs, bunnies and eating chocolate.

We are reminded through Easter that the Resurrection of Christ is the great Hope of the World. The Resurrection is also the great personal Hope that enables us to rise above so much that would otherwise depress and completely overwhelm us. So often life can seem very cruel, but if we put our trust in Jesus Christ and His victory over death then we will be able to withstand all the trials and tribulations of life.

Many people today dismiss Jesus, proclaiming with some vigour that he is irrelevant and out of touch with the world. That was what the Scribes and Pharisees thought over two thousand years ago, and they were determined to do something about it. As Easter approaches and we are preparing to celebrate, let us be mindful of the fact that we do not lean on a broken crutch, but that we have a real, and living faith to sustain us. It will sustain us through the darkest of days, and it will also help us to keep our feet firmly on the ground when the going is easy and joyous.

But why did Jesus rise from the dead? What difference does it make? A great deal. To begin with, if Jesus had stayed dead, we might be able to dismiss him as some kind of religious crank or fraud. But if he rose from death, then we are forced to take him seriously. Secondly, his death would be of little importance. But Jesus said that his death is of crucial importance: the means of dealing with our sin and making us God's friends. Thirdly, it would have made nonsense of his claim to be the resurrection and the life, and of his offer of life beyond death. One more thing: If Jesus has risen then he is still alive. And if he is still alive, then it is possible that his talk of returning as a judge is not an idle threat, is it?

May this period of reflection called Lent help you to deepen your relationship with Jesus and as you remember his death and celebrate his resurrection may it be an occasion of great blessing.

Yours in Christ,

Terry Keen. 

 

Revd. Terry Keen, Superintendent Minister, Calderdale Circuit.