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The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton

This month's letter from the clergy

Easter Hope

Dear friends,

What gets you out of bed in the morning, apart from the alarm clock?  We all need something to motivate us - something we look forward to. Something to live for.

Hope is a precious commodity. It lifts our spirits. It helps us through hard times.
And it fills every moment with potential and anticipation.

For Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the foundation of our faith - and our hope is perfectly expressed in the Easter Story.

Jesus’ death on Good Friday, whilst undeniably a terrible thing, was ‘good’ precisely because it showed the depth of God’s love for us. Jesus gave his life for us, taking upon himself the sin of the world - and yours and mine, so that we could be reconciled to God. How that was done is ultimately a mystery, but is a central affirmation of the New Testament, as St Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, he passed on what was of ‘first importance’ and then follows that with the fact that ‘Christ died for our sins’.

That affirmation is then followed by the assertion that Christ was was raised from death on the following Sunday. Jesus is not dead but alive. And if God could turn that awful experience of Friday into something joyous and wonderful. Then that has two consequences. First, that Jesus is still alive today and offering hope and new life to all. Second, that whatever we are going through, God can turn it around and bring good out of it.

Do come and join in our services for Holy Week and Easter and ponder the ‘Life in all its fullness’ that Jesus offers through both his death and resurrection.

We wish you all a very Happy Easter.