Minister’s Letter April 2017

Dear friends,

I recently took the opportunity to visit a flower market in Amsterdam to purchase some summer flowering bulbs, tubers and corms to plant in our back garden.  I hope that from summer into autumn we will see the glorious colours of dahlias, begonias, gladioli and freesias.  Growing flowers gives me great pleasure, gardening gives me a satisfaction deep within my soul.  What gives you that sort of pleasure?  Many people in our congregation get satisfaction from singing or playing a musical instrument and music can bring pleasure deep within the inner vistas of any human being; the harmonies connect with us on the inside.  Such experiences remind us that what makes us human is much more than skin deep.

When I was young Christian, my minister at the time gave me a book that made a huge impact on my Christian life.  The book is called, ‘Inside Out’, by Dr Larry Crabb.  The main theme is that when a person becomes a Christian they experience inner change; their inner life of heart, soul, mind and strength is totally transformed by their encounter with Jesus Christ.  In other words, there is nothing superficial (or hypocritical) about genuine, authentic Christianity.

The cross of Good Friday cannot leave us untouched.  On the cross we come face to face with a Saviour who builds a bridge of forgiveness between ourselves and our Heavenly Father.  As he hangs forsaken, bruised and battered upon the wood and dies, he brings forgiveness to us.  He dies as our brother and our sin bearer.  The cross, changes at the heart, of how we look at our own lives (as sinners in need of help) and the way that we look at God as our Heavenly Father.

The Resurrection of Easter morning redefines our sense of hope.  Through the Resurrection we are given a picture of eternal life through the risen Christ and we discover a new confidence in God’s sovereign work of restoration.  Many others have had their lives changed through an encounter with the risen Christ; the fisherman Peter, the Pharisee Saul, the distinguished Ethiopian treasurer and all believers down the ages.  This transformation of perception and outlook happens from the inside out.

All that Jesus accomplished for us at Easter time does  transforming work in the human heart.

May you know the life-changing work of the Saviour this Easter time.

Your minister and friend,