Tag Archives: Cross

But God….

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

48

Saturday 22 April

But God raised him from the dead” I love that phrase: “But God…” It is the antidote to mess we get into in our lives, and the answer to the despair we often feel when we hear the news from around the world: “But God…” And our job as Christians, as witnessed to what God has done in Jesus Christ, is to keep that message alive. To keep alive the rumour of God in  a sceptical world, and to remind people of the possibility of approaching life in a different way. Faith not fear, hope not hate, love not lies, Our communities, our nation, our politics – and our children and grandchildren – all need to hear this message: “But God raised him from the dead” – because Easter changed everything – forever.

 Question: What difference should the message of Easter make to the way you approach the things you will be doing in the year ahead?

 Prayer: Lord, thank you that Jesus broke the power of sin and death by his resurrection from the dead. May the new life of his kingdom come into our world in me and through me today.

 

Encouragement

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

47

Friday 21 April

Cornelius was an outsider, a Gentile, a foreigner. Normally Peter as a faithful Jew would not have entered his home or sat down to eat with him. But now God was challenging him, breaking down his preconceptions and asking him to step outside his comfort zone. Maybe we need to do a little more of that. It is easy to stick with the people we know, the people who look and talk more or less like us. But God has a plan to include all people within his new family, the Church – and he wants you and me to help him do that. Have a think about the people you see in your church. How many outsiders, foreigners, people of different cultures and backgrounds are there – or are they mostly “people like us”?

Question: What could you do – or encourage your Church family to do – to reach out to and draw in new and different people?    What barriers might there be?

 Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to step outside my comfort zone so that your Church may become the diverse community you want us to be.

 

A Clue

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

46

Thursday 20 April

It was all very well for Peter and the other disciples. They lived in a world where most  people believed in God and were happy to talk about religion. Today most people haven’t got a clue about who Jesus was or what he is supposed to have done. Where do we even start? Well, we all have a story to tell and experiences to share – about what we did at the weekend or what we have been reading lately. Peter says that God “has commanded us to preach to the people” – we may not be so sure about that but can we not find ways to talk to others about what our faith means to us and could mean to them?

Question: In a world where people are reluctant to listen to experts and are suspicious of authority, how can we play our part to help  others discover what we have found in Jesus Christ?

 Prayer: Lord, help me to share with someone today a little of who you are and what you have done for me.

 

Easter People

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

45

Wednesday 19 April

What does it mean to be an “Easter People”? It means firstly to be people who have met with the Risen Jesus and begun to experience new life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It means to be people who are beginning to live in hope and not fear – and who bring that hope to the people they meet and the places they live and work. Paul’s words “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth” doesn’t mean that we are to be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly use – rather it means that we are to live by different priorities than those of the world around us. We are to be ambitious, not for the things of this world but for God’s priorities of faith, hope and love.

Question: What could you do to bring God’s priorities of faith, hope and love to the places you will be and the people you will meet today?

 Prayer: Lord, thank you for the new life you have given me in Christ. Show me how I can share that life with others today.

 

Keep Faith

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

44

Tuesday 18 April

Where were Peter and James and John on that first Easter Day? Why was it Mary and Mary Magdalene were the only ones to go to the tomb? Were the men too afraid or were the women more faithful? Either way the Marys are an example to us. They went to pay their respects, to mourn and to grieve – and  instead they met with Jesus himself. They didn’t know what they were doing but they kept faith and God honoured their   faithfulness by making them the first to meet with the risen Lord.  Sometimes when things are dark, just keeping on keeping on is hard, but simple faithfulness will be rewarded with the dawning of a new day – and keeping going is always easier with a friend beside you.

 Question: How do you cope with times in your life when things seem dark and you can’t make sense of what is going on?

 Prayer: Lord, when times are hard and the day seems dark, give me a friend to walk beside me and the courage to know you will be there to meet us.

 

Turned to Joy.

Readings for Easter Sunday

Acts 10.34-43, Colossians 3.1-4; and Matthew 28.1-10

43

Monday 17 April

What a strange business Easter is. All the sorrow of Good Friday is suddenly turned to joy. Lenten abstinence gives way to chocolate overdose. But what does it all mean? We need to trace the roots of Easter right back into God’s plan since before the creation of the world: that he would send his own Son to break the power of death, to restore humankind to life in fellowship with him, and to create a new people who would bring his life into the darkness of this broken world. Easter is the beginning of a new creation with which you and me are invited to join in.

Question: Into what part of your life – or your world – do you most long  for God’s new life to break in?

 Prayer: Lord, help me to allow your new life to break into mine, and help me to share that new life with others. Amen.

 

Alone?

Easter Eve

42

Saturday 15 April

Silence and sadness for he is gone. Everyone who claimed to know, claimed to love Him have run away and hidden. Those who remained, took Jesus’ body for burial and rested for it was the sabbath. Can you imagine a world without Jesus? No remembering, no repeating, no trying to live up to His love for humanity? The first Easter-eve Jesus lay in a stone tomb, his friends mourned the waste and contemplated such an irredeemable future. They didn’t even hope for the rising of Jesus. How strangely empty that day must have been, how utterly empty of a future it must have been.

Prayer: My crucified Lord, in the depths of the isolation I may feel, my cry is to you. Lord God, give light in my darkness and bring me out of the prison of my despair; through the same crucified Jesus Christ. Amen