Recently I was in Tesco and noticed a young American couple doing their shopping. What particularly attracted my attention was the man's t-shirt which had the words 'And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us' Heb 12:1. I spoke to them and said that I liked the scripture on the shirt and we struck up a brief conversation in which they commented that I was the first Christian they had met during their time in the UK.
I wonder whether you recognise these words? The come from the prayer Jesus taught us to pray.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
On Thursday the 8th June the nation goes to the polls again. As the day approaches there is increasing frenzy in the media about the election. Whether it is on our TV screens, printed in the newspapers, and more than ever before through social media channels, commentators and politicians alike are clamouring for our attention and shaping the outcome of the election.
The gospel writers record that during the weeks after Christ’s death and resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples on many different occasions. In fact the Apostle Paul catalogues many of these resurrection appearances in his letter to the Corinthians, not least an appearance to 500 people at the same time. After a period of 40 days these resurrection appearances come to an abrupt end.
Or put another way - What is the one thing in life that you find hardest to handle?
I wonder how you respond to that question.
For me, the thing I find most difficult to handle, is seeing my father-in-law who used to be a keen golfer, gardener and walker incapacitated and unable to get about his home without a walking frame, and needing a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around outside with no realistic prospect of getting any better.
I love Easter. It comes at the time of year when spring is in the air. Days are getting visibly longer, leaves are returning to the trees and flowers are starting to bloom. After the gloomy dark days of winter we begin to anticipate the warmth of the summer and the opportunity to spend time outdoors and enjoy all that this beautiful world offers. Yet for all those benefits the overriding reason I love Easter is because that is the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.