This week is one of the most poignant in the year as followers of Jesus. As we approach Easter we come face to face with the horrors of the cross, the death of Jesus for our sin, and then 3 days later the glorious news of Resurrection that assures us of our life with Jesus both now and forever.
The accounts we read in the gospels actually reveal that for Jesus and his followers the first Easter far from being serene and meditative was rather a time of intense crisis. For the disciples; particularly Peter, his faith was tested and found wanting, for the women visiting the tomb on that first Easter morning the ending we know and cherish was an unknown to them. These were not the visits of faith filled followers expecting the resurrection, rather, they were the visits of scared and apprehensive people for whom their hopes of who Jesus was and what he would bring had been abruptly ended by his death. It’s only for those of us who have lived after these events that we can read back through the narratives and understand what God was doing at each point.
To us in a time of crisis, (and as I write the PM is in intensive care, many of us now know friends, members of our own church family who have directly suffered from the Coronavirus) the message of Easter is one that speaks directly to us. Into the crisis we find not panic and fear, but words of hope and assurance : ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here he is risen’ (Luke 24:6). These words have for 2 millennia brought hope to Billions of people and they continue to do so this Easter. As one person put it; ‘our church buildings may be empty this Easter, but so was the tomb!’ What incredible hope to celebrate this Easter time!
Just a few bits of important info for the coming 2 weeks:
- Support email: For prayer/pastoral and practical support we now have a dedicated email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org please spread this email address far and wide, it is both for our own church family and our local communities.
- Pastoral team: We have a great pastoral team who are helping to support the church family, if you’d like to contact any of the team they are: Jonathan & Claire Bramwell, Deb Instone, Roy & Ruth Delooze, Anya Lieu, Lester Barr, Karin Affi, Sarah Rotchell, David & Patsy Gaster, Debbie Wisdell. Jonathan & Chris are also always happy to be contacted for prayer etc.
- Online services for this week:
- Wednesday evening 7pm Hebrews 4 with Jonathan followed by a 30 minute Zoom discussion,
- Thursday 4pm a new LBC Kids stream with the theme of ‘waiting’,
- Good Friday communion at 10am,
- Easter Sunday Morning 10.30am.
- Online services for the week after Easter:
- Thursday 4pm LBC Kids stream,
- Sunday 10.30am.
- Please note there is no Wednesday Hebrews sermon this week, this will resume the following week.
- Youth work: During this period of lockdown we are unable to continue our recruitment process for a new part time youth worker, however, Chloe Clarke is going to be our current contact person for our youth work. If you want to know more about how we are supporting our young people or know a young person who wants to get involved in our young people’s work please contact her.
- Friendly Chat: This is now up and running, do make use of it, it’s so important to keep in touch with each other.
- Volunteers to help with services: If you have a testimony to share, or happy to lead us in prayer or with a reading please do get in touch, you don’t even need to record things yourself (although you’re welcome to!) we can do that for you over Zoom. Please contact email@example.com. Thanks to those who have volunteered already we’ll involve as many people as we can over the coming weeks.
- Staff time off: In the following two weeks after Easter the following staff will be taking a few days off, they will still all be at home, but just taking some time to spend with their families:
- Week commencing Monday 13th: Jonathan & Alison are off all week, Richard is off Tuesday/Wednesday
- Week commencing Monday 20th: Sam & Chris are off all week