The United Reformed Church Chesham

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April/May 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends

“God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone that believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life” John 3:16
“I have seen the LORD!” Jesus is risen!
“Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.”

Wonderful words of hope and peace, which come to us each Easter and draw us closer to God. As we celebrate Easter this year let us think beyond the reflections of Lent to how we can now act in faith to serve God through the way we live our lives.

There is so much need in our world, that it is not difficult to find subjects for prayer and people and situations where help is urgently required. So often people suffer because of circumstances beyond their control. There are the innocent victims of war or those who find their health failing suddenly.

We will later this year commemorate the anniversary of World War 1. Last week I went to see the recording of the stage production of War Horse at the Elgiva Theatre. Michael Morpurgo wrote the original novel in the first person, with the horse Joey being that person. He wanted to give the picture of war from the viewpoint of the innocent drawn into the battle, in this case the horse. In the stage production the horses do not speak, but the brilliant handspring puppets more than brought the animals to life and showed their feelings. The horrors of war for those innocent yet involved. Today we see the effects of war and violence vividly through media coverage. It must not become so routine and familiar that we accept these situations. Prayer and actions are essential.

Jesus was violently taken to crucifixion on the cross. He suffered. He suffered for us. He was an innocent victim. Jesus has the power to change things – he is God’s son, but people had to see him suffer and die to know fully God’s power. Jesus conquered death and lives for us today. Through him is the power to change things. His actions give hope to those who are struggling and suffering. The Holy Spirit comes to give us the words and guidance we need. The Spirit ‘groans for us’ when words are inadequate. We give thanks for the message of Easter and Jesus alive and walking with us today.

A Happy Easter to you all.

With love

A poem about materialism vs Jesus
Some imagine that human fulfilment lies in the meeting of our physical and emotional needs. It is the premise of much of our advertising as just an hour watching programmes on a commercial channel will show. The answer therefore lies in retail therapy – goods and services you can purchase –but does this meet our true needs. Jesus acknowledges our need for food and other necessities for living but reminds us that there is more.

There must be more than lifestyle shopping,
or tail to bumper start and stopping,
as off to work or play we’re heading,
to Brent Cross or brick-built Reading –
surely life means more?

Always running, always rushing,
squeezing time and spirit crushing,
never pausing, scarcely thinking,
easing stress by drugs or drinking –
surely life is more?

We are richer, but feel poorer
more to spend, but much less surer
of our future – where we’re going;
have more data, but less knowing –
show us life that’s more!

One there was who walked more slowly,
made his home with poor and lowly;
laughed and loved, our griefs sharing,
on a cross our sorrows bearing –
showed us life that’s more.

From his poverty we gain treasure,
grace abounding, without measure,
life that even death can’t sever,
when we are his now and forever –
his life in us is more.

Help us, Lord, even in the most difficult of circumstances, to step out in showing your love to others.
Help us to give with absurd generosity,
to love with deep compassion,
to display outrageous forgiveness, and to go the extra mile for all your people. Amen.