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Reflection: Easter changes everything

As I approached Easter this year I wondered if there was anything new I could gain from the Easter Story? After all I have been to Easter services for over half a century and have heard countless sermons and talks on the cross and resurrection at other times.

So as I approached Easter this year I was praying for something new and fresh minted, something that will stay with me for longer than the length of the service. Well I wasn’t disappointed so here is a brief reflection on the ministry over the Easter weekend at Christ Church.

In the film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ the angel called Clarence visits the main character George Bailey when he is a despairing man about to commit suicide and gives him a view of what the world would be like without him if he was to died now. It’s an alarming prospect which inspires George to keep living.

On Easter Sunday morning the preacher, Graham posed the question that he asked the Rooted Group earlier in the week. ‘What would life be like if Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead?’ This has  a far more significant  impact than an individual life like George Bailey.  In the sermon Graham reflected on how quickly his own life would be forgotten and how as we get get older our actual death is preceded by many little deaths – things that are taken away that we can no longer do. If there is no resurrection we should be crying like Mary Magdalene as she went to the tomb. Mary’s experience connects with all of our experiences of death and dying. What makes our lives significant and what gives us hope is that our ‘little lives’ are caught up with God’s great purposes all flowing from the resurrection.

Graham’s final point was ‘convinced and confident’. As he was talking I reflected on my own life and witness. Christ’s resurrection changes everything. Of course it should be a delight and the leading goal of my life should be to tell others about Christ – but is it? – This is the challenge of the Easter Weekend for me.

I can remember watching some of the closing ceremony of the Paralympics held in Tokyo in 2021, the climax being a  man in a wheelchair singing What a Wonderful World – quite moving. And yes it is a wonderful world but only because of the resurrection that gives us a a gospel to proclaim that can restore fallen men and women to what they were created to be. We can have confidence in the future – for ourselves, the church and the whole world because of this message. Why should I be ashamed of this  amazing  gospel and it’s life changing message for us, our neighbours and the whole world!  I pray we will be like Paul, eager to proclaim it and fully confident in it’s potency!

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1 verse 16)

Here is the sermon in full

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