I’m sure that this will be a strange Easter for all of us, celebrating as we are without being able to meet together in person for a joyous celebration of the Risen Jesus, our Prince of Peace. I’m sure that all of us can speak of Jesus as our anchor in stormy seas for we all have times when He has held us and helped us to get through the tough seasons in our lives.
In times of trouble and uncertainty like those we face at the moment there’s one Bible story that I find myself returning to time and again.
Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.’ (Mark 4:39).
What started out for the disciples as a routine trip across the Sea of Galilee, ended up with a storm threatening to overwhelm their boat! Jesus was asleep in the boat, so little wonder they feared for their lives: ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ (38). Who would have thought two months ago that the world would be overwhelmed by the Coronavirus pandemic and our lives turned upside down! Self-isolating and self-distancing are now part of our daily vocabulary, as we live in an uncertain world. What does this story say to us in our circumstances?
Firstly, Jesus calmed the storm: ‘He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’’ (39). He is the Lord of the storm and holds our circumstances in His hands. We are called to trust, not fear, being assured that He is with us to protect us. ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ (40). Nothing is outside of His control.
Secondly, despite the calm, the disciples were still terrified: ‘They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!’’ (41). Like us, the disciples were asking why Jesus, who loved them, had allowed the storm to happen! Our circumstances provide us with an opportunity to understand more deeply who Jesus is. We can’t control Him and we don’t always understand His bigger plans for us and His world. We are called to overcome fear and insecurity, by living lives of peace, faith and hope. How contagious can we be for Jesus in a stormy world?
Yours with every blessing for a Happy Easter,
Vicar of Cumnor.
Here is this weeks news from the Parish:
We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view.
That’s why we’re running an online Alpha Course.
It’s free, great fun and a chance to see for yourself if Jesus is the answer to your questions about life. It starts on Tuesday 21st April at 8pm.
All you’ll need is a computer that’s capable of running Zoom. We’ll send details on how to connect a few days before the course starts.
Want to come or know someone who does? Sign up online at https://cumnor.org/alpha
“Tenebrae” Video for Holy Week
Tenebrae is Latin for darkness or shadows, and Christians have long marked Holy Week with this deeply moving, reflective service.
Many of you will have gathered together with Cumnor URC to mark Maundy Thursday with readings, hymns and the gradual darkening of the building as candles are extinguished.
We have made a short (15 minute) video with readings, lament, music and space for reflection and contemplation. You can watch it online at https://cumnor.org/online-tenebrae-service-for-holy-week/
Please share this and our other videos with your friends and family online and via social media. This will help people find out about Jesus and the good things happening at our Church.
Good Friday Service
Available online at 10:30am on 10th April at https://cumnor.org/good-friday-service/
Join us for this special online service as we celebrate Good Friday with Bible readings, hymns and prayers. David Wenham will be leading our reflections and Clare Wenham reading the Scriptures.
There is a service sheet available for download and the service will be available by telephone on 01865 920993. Please note there is a short delay on the phone before the audio plays.
Easter Day Service
Available online at 10:30am on 12th April at https://cumnor.org/easter-day-service/
Join us for this special service as we celebrate our Easter Communion Service online. Jonathan will be leading and preaching, and Jessica Turner is leading our prayers.
A service sheet is available for download and the service will be available by telephone on 01865 920993. Please note there is a short delay on the phone before the audio plays.
Wintershall Easter Story
Jackie Laar writes, “Because of Covid-19, Wintershall cannot perform the Easter story in Trafalgar Square this year. But they are putting together rehearsal clips, interviews, stills, mobile phone videos from all the One Good Friday locations into a documentary of 2020, that they will livestream on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Wintershallplay) on Good Friday at 12 noon and again at 3 pm.
“This, of course, is prerecorded but gives an idea of what the Wintershall Trust (ecumenical) have been doing to take Jesus’ story into our streets. They will then follow it up with a repeat showing of last year’s performance. I can highly recommend their productions. Although only Jesus has been trained as an actor, and all the other players are local residents, the quality of each and every performance is highly professional and suitable for all ages.”
Jonathan will be taking a break from work next week. Please contact Sarah in the Parish Office on 01865 861541 or email@example.com if you need anything
Please Pray For
- Our PM, Boris as he recovers from Covid-19.
- All who are ill or in intensive care.
- All working in the NHS and other key workers.
- Teachers and children during the Easter Holidays.
- Our church that we might be able to love and serve others and share the good news effectively with them at this time.
- The Alpha Course starting on 21st April.
- Jonathan and his family as they enjoy time off together after Easter.