Easter Message from Rev Kim Ratcliffe

I love Easter Sunday, all throughout the world today Christians will be celebrating the beauty of their Risen Lord.

Not everyone will understand the full meaning of this and I don’t think that any of us can really understand the full meaning because it is such an awesome event. How can death, the most final thing we know as humans be something that we can celebrate. It is through Jesus’ death and His resurrection that enables us to have the hope of life eternal.

Of course, as we think back to only a couple of days before Jesus’ resurrection is like a horror story. Jesus was handed over for execution, a death that was and is particularly horrible. Before that he had been with some of his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what he must endure and it was painful for Him. He was in a place that should have been a place where He could find a sense of peace and be able to pray with the support of His disciples. Then only a few days later, after Jesus’ death and resurrection we read in John 20: 11-18 (GNT), the experience of Mary Magdalene, when she was in the garden outside of the empty tomb feeling so overwhelmed that her Lord had been ‘taken’. It reads, “They have taken my Lord away and I do not know where they have put Him”. Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. “Why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who is it you are looking for?” She thought at that moment that He was the gardener which you can understand knowing that Jesus’ life had been taken away and we can only imagine that the appearance of Jesus was something so different maybe so radiant that to Mary at that moment He was unrecognisable. But then he simply says her name, “Mary”. At that moment she recognised her Lord.

Just two of the garden scenes that we read about in the bible. Any gardener will know how after all of the hard work it takes to grow and maintain a garden that is going to look so beautiful and then it is almost sad when they come to the end of their life. Gardeners also know that although, for now, the plant that they have appreciated and enjoyed having with them in their gardens may have come to the end of the season but if treated correctly at a certain point there is more potential for the plant or flower. For this to happen they do something called deadheading. On the Gardening Knowhow website, it says, “Deadheading is generally done both to maintain a plant’s appearance and to improve its overall performance.”

This is where the gardener has to take the head of the flower that has died off and although this can be a tedious and mundane job to keep on top of they know that it will give the plant hope for new life to come through. I believe that it is often with a greater beauty than the gardener may ever have imagined.

Jesus through His dying had entered into His new life and offers that new life to us. We need remember and treasure what has been. Our lives are for living the best as we can to do all the good we can in this present moment and try not cling onto all that has gone before us. We read in Isaiah 43:18-19 (GNT)

But the Lord says, “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago.

Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now!

I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there”. Take a deep breath and go forward with Christ. He will take our hands and bring us hope once more, we can feel full of joy again and when the day comes when our task here on earth is done, when it is finished, we will go to be with God, our God who makes all things new.


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Mask wearing There has been no change in the Government advice with regards to worship (there is no requirement for people to wear masks in church). However, since September the Methodist Church has