PASTORAL LETTER

 

From the Minister’s desk:

 Dear Friends,
As I write there has been a project launched by the BBC to encourage young people to question the news that they hear and discern if it is ‘fake news’ or ‘real news’. Technology makes it so much easier to generate ‘fake news’ and sadly it is a growing problem. A lot of people see the Christian faith and in particular the resurrection of Jesus like that. They argue that people ‘made up’ this news because people needed something to believe. Writer and Bible teacher Michael Green says ‘if the resurrection is false, you can dismiss Christianity, if it is true, the consequences are enormous.’
Let us look at this news and ask again Fake News or Good News?
The first thing to consider is the way that the disciples recorded the Good News; it was the women who discovered the empty tomb and brought the news to the male disciples, who were hiding behind locked doors. In their culture the witness of women was not considered to be sound. If the disciples were making up a story to convince others that Jesus had risen, they would not have written it this way. I believe that, embarrassing though it might be, it was indeed the women who first saw the risen Christ, and then ran to the disciples to let them know.

The disciples were hidden behind locked doors because they were afraid that they would be recognised as a follower of Jesus, arrested and executed themselves. It was not advantageous for the disciples to spread rumours of Jesus’ resurrection. I believe that the disciples experienced the resurrection, he appeared to the disciples several times and at one point he appeared to five hundred people at the same time.

This was a life transforming experience, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost they rushed out into the busy streets in Jerusalem and began to proclaim the Good News. Many of those first disciples were to die for their faith.

The Good News of the resurrection has stood the test of time. It is over two thousand years since Jesus was resurrected and people continue to risk their lives to share this Good News. People’s lives continue to have their lives transformed.All these things may or may not be convincing, Christian faith is not about what we can work out, but what we experience. We will all know people who have not experienced the resurrection of Christ in their lives. Let us pray that they might have open hearts and minds and have their lives touched by the risen Christ this Easter season.

We look forward to welcoming Revd Duncan Goldie as our URC minister; please come along to his Induction service at 3pm on 21st April 2018 at Cheap Street Church, Sherborne. Duncan’s first service here at Bell Street will be on 29th April 2018 at 10:30am.
Your friend and Minister, Rev Denise Binks