Dear Friends,Many years ago a curate friend of mine was preaching at Evensong in Eastertide. He was enthusiastic about the future of the church, and urged everybody to be upbeat about the Easter message, knowing that we have good news to share which is full of joy and hope – good, rousing stuff.
As the congregation filed out at the end of the service, one stalwart member of the church looked at my friend dolefully and said "Not many here tonight, were there?"
It is only too easy to sink into pessimism about the church. There seem to be so many problems, and not enough people to share in solving them. Negative attitudes ranging from indifference to hostility seem to be on the increase. Money problems are never very far away.
Where will it all end?
The answer is that it won't end. The church will continue, because it is the body of Christ, and our living Lord can never be defeated. There will always be an answer to the difficulties which face us – which, if we are honest enough to admit it, are nowhere near as bad as those facing many other Christian people in the world, who are facing their future with courage and with faith.
If we feel that it's difficult keeping our faith going, remember that there's nothing in the gospels which says that we are in for an easy life. And we have so many advantages, which put the problems totally in the shade. We have two thousand years of history behind us, in which we can see the hesitant
faith of the first Easter Day turning into a world-wide faith shared by millions.
In that thought there is a clue which can help us in our own local situation. There is a great strength in sharing our faith, our witness and our worship with others. To take a recent example, the joint service on Palm Sunday made a deep impression on many who were there. We were of course
meeting on a special day – but we were also reminded that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
It would be good if we could all make an effort to be part of the joint service which we hold once a month – so that at least a dozen times a year we can support each other in the presence of our living Lord, and be reminded that we are all part of something which does matter, and which really can make a difference to other people too.
May Eastertide continue to be positive, good and joyful.
Priest in Charge
Leven Valley Benefice
From Our Book Shelves
Lists of books about Faith, which the owners are happy to share, will be found in each of our churches. If you would like to add some of your own, please let John Taylor know. (31665)