Dear fellow villagers,
This is a really tough time for everyone, isn’t it? So many things that we have relied upon and thought were pretty stable are proving very uncertain. There is a lot of talk about those who are ‘vulnerable’ but it feels to me like we are all in that group in some way or other: if not with our own health, maybe with the health of someone we love, or with our finances and jobs. These are unprecedented times.
The Baptist Church has been in this village for over 300 years and perhaps for the first time in its history we are having to cancel all our services and clubs for the time being. But we are still here, still praying for our village, willing to help people in whatever way we can, and finding peace and comfort in the unchanging message of Jesus Christ. As Christians we go through the same troubles and trials as everyone else, but we do believe that the biggest issue in our lives, our relationship with God, is sorted and secure.
We are coming up to Easter. It is not going to be possible to meet as a church over that time, but Easter brings us to the heart of the Bible’s message because it brings us to the cross. Jesus died on the cross. Why? He was taking our place and taking the punishment for our sin. God is just. Wrong must be punished. Here is the only way that God can remain just and yet show us mercy. Someone who has done nothing wrong willingly stands in our place. But the claim of the Bible is that Jesus then rose from the dead. The people who saw Him die, saw Him risen again and were prepared to die rather than deny it.
Jesus rose from the dead. It shows that He is the Son of God. It shows that He has paid the penalty for sin and it has been accepted by God. It shows death has been conquered. It shows that we can take seriously His claims and His promise to give true life to all who trust in Him. As those who have trusted in Him, we find that we can have peace and confidence even in the midst of troubles and trials.