Clergy Letter

A Letter from Fr. Robert

Dear Friends

April 2018

At a recent funeral I was struck by the words of comfort:

‘I am the resurrection and the life,’ says the Lord. ‘Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’ John 11.25,26

I found myself asking how does what Jesus said make any sense, especially for those who mourn? Could I ever explain what these words might mean to someone who doesn’t have any sense of what the Easter message might mean?

How when faced with the reality of the death of a loved one can we communicate that God understands our pain and loss, and sends us hope? God blessed me through the writing of theologian Jürgen Moltmann who says: “The death of Jesus Christ on the cross, is in the profoundest sense, a happening between God and God. The Son suffers his dying in forsakenness by the Father, and God the Father suffers the death of his beloved Son. Both of them experience, though in different ways, the death of God.”

The immortal experiences mortality, and knows the anguish that all bereaved know, God identifies so closely with us by living the human life and, giving his life on the cross, but the Easter message is not just about the death of God, it is about the triumph of life. Moltmann again sum this up: “The history of Christ is his life history for us, among us, and with us. In the history of Christ his eternal life absorbs our finite life into itself. And that being so, this mortal life is then already eternal life. We live his eternal life even when we die.”

Here then is the hope, Jesus death has done away with the finality of death, because of Christ death becomes a step from eternal life to eternal life. This is the profound hope of Easter. He is risen, and because of that we all will rise. Billy Graham whose funeral took place in March is reputed to have said: “Someday you will hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

With my best wishes and prayers, as ever,                

Fr. Robert


FROM THE PARISH REGISTERS

Baptisms

March              18        Amelia Dorothy Gannon

                        25        William James Barber

Funerals

March              7          Ruby Cooke (92)

9          Margaret Jones (85)

                        14         Jack Butcher (92)