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Letters from Tim

Dear Friends,

There are many examples of letter writing in the scriptures. Some are written to individuals, others are to communities and congregations. They take different forms and cover a multitude of issues. It is two years since I began a weekly letter. Again there have been many different things said, and I hope you have found them of use. They have been intended as a way of keeping us connected, especially in the times of lockdown, and through the uncertainties of the pandemic.

This will be my last letter before I take my sabbatical after Easter and then retire in the summer. Many of you have asked me what I will do in retirement?  My response is that I will find out when I get there!

This is similar to our approach to Easter. We have celebrated Easter so many times that we miss the surprise and shock of that first Easter. It was obvious that Jesus’ life was under threat in the run up to Holy Week. It was likely there would be a clash with the authorities. But no one could have predicted the horrors of the Maundy Thursday night and what happened on Good Friday. (A little like the horrors in the Ukraine are shocking us deeply at the moment).

God’s response to the crucifixion broke all the rules. Resurrection turns all the certainties we know, upside down. Only God can do that, no one else was involved. And it is all beyond our understanding. Matthew pulls all the stops out with earthquakes, graves being opened whereas the other writers are more subdued, but no less powerful and mysterious.

The unpredictability of Easter, or retirement, of how the Ukraine catastrophe will develop is about allowing and trusting in the new life and hope of God springing up in the most unpromising circumstances. Like a green shoot breaking through concrete. Do we allow God to be one step ahead, and are we ready for Easter surprise and shock?

Lord is Risen….

Peace

Tim


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