From your Vicar - Page 1
If you were an alien from space visiting earth and went along to a local supermarket to find out what Easter was, you could be forgiven for thinking that Easter is mainly about chocolate: chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies etc.
But Easter is of course much more than chocolate (though I do love a good chocolate egg!). As Christians, it is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. Our entire understanding about God, Jesus and salvation springs from the events of the first Easter over 2000 years ago.
The Message translation of the bible wonderfully captures Peter’s excitement at what Easter really means: ‘What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole’ (1 Peter 1: 3-5, Message version).
Easter changes everything, because Easter, aptly symbolised in the shape of an egg, is all about new life. Through Jesus we have new birth into a life that will never perish and a citizenship in a Kingdom that will eventually triumph over evil and death. As Peter put it, ‘we will have it all – life healed and whole’.
The wonderful thing about Easter is that this new birth begins now. One of the mistakes people often think is that the gospel is all about ‘getting to heaven when you die’. But Peter reminds us that new birth begins now: ‘we’ve been given brand new life and have everything to live for’. This begins when we put our trust in Jesus and commit our lives to him. God’s calling for us as Christians is to live out our new identity today, bringing heaven to earth as we proclaim the Kingdom of God in all that we do.
As a church we will in April all be receiving a booklet that details our discussions and reflections over the past year about what our vision and mission priorities should be over the next few years at St John’s. This booklet contains a vision of what each area of ministry might look like in the future and a few first steps about how we might begin to journey there.
From your Vicar - Page 2
My hope and prayer is that every person in the church will respond to this in whatever way they can and that together as a church we will share the wonderful good news of Easter to this community and beyond.