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Easter Message from Rev Gordon Gresswell – “He is risen!”
Holy week encapsulates life so much. The triumph of the entry; controversy; a meal with friends; arrest; death; Risen! The ups-and down’s of life seen through the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy week, for me, moved quickly from Palm Sunday to my 57 year old cousin’s funeral on the Monday. The emotions of this week very real in our family life. Meditations throughout the week culminate in a gathering of friends from different Churches for a Passover Meal on Thursday. We shared an enactment of Good Friday on the streets of Newport, reflecting on pain and death before the joy of Easter; of death defeated and Christ is alive, opening up the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
Amidst this roller-coaster ride is an awareness of change. Good Friday was a day everything stopped; this year there is a whole Football League programme. It seems that Britain no longer wishes to reflect on its own mortality and a powerful story of mans inhumanity to man. It seems our story of ultimate sacrifice and the love of God is out of fashion. Entertainment and chocolate eggs are all that matter.
Brothers and Sisters, as we live this story of the joys and sorrows of life, let us not be afraid to proclaim ‘He is Risen’; Jesus is alive! Let us get alongside those going through their own Good Friday’s; let us share our time and food in eating alongside others as friends; let us get involved in the controversies this world lives through; let us enable folk to be part of the crowd singing Hosanna. In our engagement with the world, with others, Christ is with us, and if Christ is with us who can stand against us, for He is Risen and many we know and love need to hear this Good News afresh because, as St. Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 15:55; ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is thy sting?’ For Christ the Lord is Risen. He is Risen indeed!