St George's

Church of England Primary School

Be determined and confident,

as God will be with you* as we learn,
care and share through work, play and prayer.

(*Deuteronomy 31:6)

Be determined and confident,

as God will be with you* as we learn, care and share through work, play and prayer.

(*Deuteronomy 31:6)

Easter messages from Mike and Jordan

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Dear friends,

Happy Easter. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!

Here is this morning’s reflection:

Here you’ll find the reflections from Holy Week:

Here is Bishop Philip’s Easter message:

God bless,

Fr Mike

He is risen!

Happy Easter to you all and do think about joining us this afternoon as we learn about the Easter story with crafts and songs, and join in with our Easter egg hunt, this afternoon at 4pm!

It has been wonderful to journey with you all this Holy Week, may you have a blessed Easter day. A huge thank you to all who have helped and worked hard to make this week so special an honouring to God.

Please find attached today's sermon,

Fr Jordan

In my line of work I spend a lot of time with a lot of grieving people. Grieving people think about the things we don’t want to think about but they ask some good questions, sometimes they might ask why God would let this happen. Sometimes they might just say that it doesn’t feel real or they might say that the things that they once wanted, just don’t matter to them anymore. It’s like, if this is the world we live in and this happens then what’s the point, we’ve already lost, haven’t we? It’s all over already, there’s no point.

And we don’t like to think about that, do we? We don’t like to think about death and how widespread it is. I mean, if we stepped back and looked at the world, you might ask all these questions. You might look at how bleak things are and ask some horrible questions, you might look out and ask “has death won?” Is everything going to die, does any of it matter, are the moments of joy we have just little blips of light against a hopeless background.

We hate to think about it because it’s a terrifying thought but does death actually win? Is the darkness closing around us, inevitably? And all the things to do with death, all the things that bring it; sickness, hatred, war, abuse, violence, do they get the last laugh? Does death win?

Well that’s the news we get today. The disciples were grieving and groaning because they thought that God’s Son had lost, that death had triumphed. They thought it was the end but then comes this Holy day. ‘Hold on a minute,’ they realise, ‘things have only just begun.’ Here’s the good news. They were looking for his body but he wasn’t there. When they look in the tomb for the dead body of Jesus they find that Death. Didn’t. Win. They found that He. Wasn’t. There. They thought that is was over, they thought that death had claimed God’s son but they couldn’t imagine that death itself was defeated, that God had destroyed death. The disciples saw Christ die and they grieved because they thought that was the end and that things couldn’t possibly be rebuilt from here but they found an empty grave. Death and sin which leads to death have been beaten. God’s coat of arms isn’t just the cross on which he died for our sin but also the empty grave, by which he showed he had defeated the power of death.

In your lowest moments, when you’re looking into the darkest pit and you’re sure that things can’t be rebuilt, there is the empty grave of hope that Jesus brings life. He brings hope when it’s hopeless, he won over death.

I don’t know why but a lot of people think that Christianity is a rules based scorebook. They think that you’re a good Christian if you obey the rules well and get more ticks than crosses next to your name on the divine scoreboard. Most religions are a bit like that and the way you do a good job at being a member of most other faiths is by following the rules properly. Not in Christianity. We all make mistakes and mess up.

The way you be a good Christian is to have faith in that cross and empty grave, in what Jesus did there. Because our faith is the one where God comes to us to give us hope and defeat the powers of sin and death for us, out of love. God has thrown away the scoreboard and said just believe in me and live like this, like the cross of self-giving love and the life of Easter Sunday. Live your lives in hope and in joy because death has been defeated.

If you believe in the cross and the resurrection then you’ve got that life in you and it’s like, though there’s dark times and there’s still all that darkness out there in the world, there’s still this light that no darkness can overcome. There’s this radical notion that God cared enough about us that not only did he die but he came back to life and brought us hope. Now we’ve got death on the run and it’s death which is ultimately going to lose because our God loves us, he died for us and he’s come back to life visibly to show you that there’s hope. Everything can go, even our bodies, and there’s still hope.

You know I was watching a documentary recently about the Sahara desert and there are some parts of that vast desert where it doesn’t rain for literally decades. And if you were to look at it you’d say that there was no way life could exist in that place. It’s a hellish wasteland, useful to nothing, hopelessly incapable of providing anything of use and then it rains.

In just a few hours, tumbleweed that has been dormant for decades, drifting with the wind, takes root and flowers. Greenery emerges and life grows in all different sorts, insects, mammals and birds appear and there’s life and joy where there had been barren, dusty death. There’s a passage in Ezekiel in the Old Testament that talks about God taking dry bones and giving them breath and in that part of the world that’s what it looks like, hopeless death is defeated.

That’s who we’re meant to be. Not scorekeepers who come close to God through the rules, though they help us know how to live in a way that brings life and hope, but rather we’re meant to live our lives in faith, trust, belief, hope that although you might want to think the world is a dry valley, Jesus’ cross and resurrection means death has been defeated. God’s life wins.

That’s what it means to be a Christian. We are the Resurrection people. We are the people who proclaim the hope of Christ in every situation, to every person, no matter how lost. Whether, like I once was, you’re not sure if there’s a way you can go on one more day, or if you think you’ve got it all together; taste the real hope of Easter today.

If you’re in the middle of the desert, if you’re grieving if you’re hurting then taste the life that will never ever die. If you’re in darkness then know that you can be in light no matter how hopeless it seems, all you have to do is believe in the cross and resurrection and let your life by shaped by what God did. They thought on that first day that there was nothing left and that it was all hopeless but his body wasn’t there. He is Risen.

In our world today where we’re so convinced there’s no hope, can you just imagine what this message would mean if people really listened to it and gave it a chance? Not just us but our whole town, county, nation, world? Death has been defeated, the power of sin and the old rulebook, God came after us and made us right with him, then he gave us the hope of Easter Sunday.

Brothers and sisters, don’t go away from today unchanged. Take the joy and hope of Easter and let it be your light and your life. Tell people that there’s hope. In the driest valley, there is the resurrection. In the darkest night, there is the resurrection. In the worst moments you ever go through there is the resurrection, there is the promise of life, there is Jesus whispering into your ear saying that it’s okay because death has lost it’s sting. There is the resurrection. Death is defeated. He has done it. He is risen. Halleluiah!

Are you filled with that hope today? Then go out and take it with you. Don’t keep it to yourselves but share it with the world that needs to hear it. This is the best news you’ll ever be able to give anyone. That God loves you enough to get off his throne and die for you, to draw you close to him, and that he loves you enough to rise again, to give you hope.

And no power on earth can stop us if that is the message we’re bringing to people this Easter. Amen.