Our Moderator’s Message

Moderator’s Message - March / April 2021

SPRING TIME is here!  And we all want to be happy about that, but the reality is that, because of the continuing Covid pandemic, we’ve all got to be cautious for just a few months more.  Will it be ok for the various lockdown release dates to happen as planned?  Can we really look forward to finally being free of restrictions by 21st June?  It all feels a bit tentative, doesn’t it?

The Christian season of Lent is traditionally a time for reflection, and even “self-examination”.  That can make us feel a bit tentative, as it begins to raise questions like “Am I good enough for God?”, “What does God think of me? How does he feel about me?”. In the self-examination, we’d all have to admit to the old school report phrase of “could do better”.  But that’s only half the story.  The amazing love of God is part of the reflections of Lent too.  God is just and fair, which means he can’t overlook our failings or “could do betters”, and yet in love and mercy he finds another way.

As Easter approaches the story seems so unfair. It is unfair. Jesus had been showing nothing but love and kindness, and yet the authorities of the day feel affronted and challenged by him and they engineer his arrest, they turn the crowds, and they think it’s all over once they’ve had him crucified. Amazingly Jesus, from the cross, prays, “Father, forgive them”, and in love he has the victory. The Son of God prays forgiveness for those who treated him so cruelly, and down the ages he prays forgiveness for all our “could do betters”. In the words of a hundred year old hymn: “heaven’s peace and perfect justice, kissed a guilty world in love”.

The victory had been won on the cross, but the victory is declared and celebrated in the joy of Easter Sunday. On that third day Jesus was risen from the grave, and in all sorts of different ways he met with his followers. Some believed immediately, others needed bit more convincing; but, to all who believe, God gives an open armed welcome. As his adopted children he welcomes us home. It’s not all plain sailing, but there’s new freedom, new life, and the promise of the risen Jesus being with us in the tough times as well as in the good times.

Our hope of holidays and times with family and friends may still seem a bit tentative at the moment, but the hope we can have in the risen Jesus is far more certain:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1Peter 1:3

Easter celebrations will again be a little muted this year because of the necessary pandemic restrictions, but nevertheless may the joy of the risen Jesus be in your heart and life, and may you know his peace through all the coming days.

Ron Davis