Easter is just the beginning...
Nearly 11 years ago I had finished an Alpha Course at St. George’s and experienced an amazing day on Exmoor with the others in the group, exploring the Holy Spirit and being prayed for. Many of us on that course were changed people (although at the time we had no idea of just how much) and are still part of our church family!
The experience left me with a raging thirst for more understanding of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and I soaked myself for years in books, prayer and my lovely homegroup who adopted me. Every car journey was accompanied by worship music, every day reading more.
It is a new life that has never left me, although it has calmed a little as I have learnt to ‘rest’ more and enjoy the journey.
After the whirlwind of their time as disciples with Jesus, learning and listening all the time, not fully understanding and then the shock of his death and disbelief at his resurrection, I wonder how they felt?
It was a new phase without Jesus but with a job to do. Paul also had that dramatic change, a complete about turn from persecutor to theologian, founder and shepherd to so many churches.
All are changed and guided by the power of the Holy Spirit, taught and led, listening and learning ‘on the job’. We too can experience all that but it is just the beginning and not the finish.
This week has seen the re-starting of outdoor sport and keen swimmers, cyclists, tennis players and golfers could be found at one minute past midnight, celebrating a return to activity. In sport it’s such an exciting journey and as a new athlete you have no idea how far or high or even where you will get to. The daily exercise is a mix of real pleasure, fun and some real slog but we do it in love for our sport. In a sense we too are all in training.
For Christians we do it out of love for Jesus and what he has done for us, and out of love for others. Paul in Hebrews 12 entreats us to run the race and not be distracted as we go forward. Easter is a starting point, just as new faith is a starting point but there is far more to come.
Let’s celebrate that together in a prayer from the Melanesian Brotherhood:
‘Look: the hills and valleys shine with promises,
And every burning morning is a prophesy of Christ.
He has come to raise, forgive, and to heal.
Open wide your lives and forever love, not fear, those you meet.’
In Christ, Jude