Nearly half way through another year and summer is upon us, but just cast your mind back, if you will, to Easter. Easter time is linked with all the new life springing up and blossoming at this time of year, but that of course is because we live in the northern hemisphere; down under, now autumn is in full swing and Easter coincided with dying back and getting ready for the winter rest. For us then, the message of Easter can be easily lost amidst chocolate, daffodils and cuddly chicks and bunnies. But that isn’t the Christian message of Easter; it contains dying certainly, but that’s not where the story ends. As the risen Christ leaves behind the empty tomb and strides off to meet with a whole bunch of folk, he issues an invitation to “follow me”. Did they know where they would end up? No, not really. Some stayed around Galilee and others went further afield, but wherever they founded the church, we have it still. Following Jesus isn’t of course a free for all, but then you wouldn’t play tennis with a cricket bat and the “thou shalt nots” are few compared to the vastness of Christian witness the world over. And therein lies the message of Easter; we have an offer to follow Jesus.
There are many examples in scripture where Jesus tells someone who wants to follow him to go to where they live and witness to him there. At St George’s we’re doing just that. The Discipleship course is happening weekly where a group of people are exploring what it means to follow Christ now, here in Littleport. That overflows into the services, formal and informal like Messy Church. There’s also our involvement with Messy Church in both our primary schools and the 4th Sunday monthly where we join with St John’s Methodists, The Vine and the Salvation Army to think about following the risen Jesus together, here.
Jesus’ invitation to follow him does not mean that bad things won’t happen; but nor does it mean good things cannot. Life with its joys and sorrows happens, with or without Christ. Accepting Jesus’ invite to follow though is to say that whatever happens, I am on the right track because Jesus was not stuck in the tomb, but stood outside, alive and he offers that to me. For Jesus’ first disciples, it was a rollercoaster ride; one minute it was all looking good as he rode into Jerusalem, then really bad on the Cross and then, hang on, he’s over there! We might call it uncertainty, but it isn’t, it’s an adventure and we don’t know exactly where Jesus will lead us. It may be a long way from Littleport, but from the examples in scripture, that’s unlikely. It’s much more likely to be somewhere very close; a new conversation, a new opportunity, a new understanding. Which is all really good; it’s what new life is all about.
Wishing you every blessing,