More about our Easter Faith

The strong and joyful season of Easter carries a message of great hope. It is, in fact, all good news at this time of the Christian Year and the readings, colours and music in our churches encourage this bright and positive atmosphere. Underlying the good news of the Resurrection is something far more serious that needs our consideration. In each of the post-Resurrection appearances to his disciples, Jesus shows them his hands and side.

He makes them aware of the continuing existence of the marks of his suffering on the cross. This was particularly true of the meeting between Jesus and Thomas. Thomas was confronted by the real and vivid scars of the Saviour – a most painful reminder of the recent events.

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Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 ff

Winston Churchill planned his own funeral in Saint Paul's cathedral. The service included famous hymns : To be a pilgrim, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Fight the good fight, O God, our help in ages past. At the end of the service, per Sir Winston's instructions, after the Benediction was pronounced, a lone bugler in the dome of St. Paul's cathedral played The Last Post, the universal signal that the day is over. And when that bugler stopped, the service took a dramatic turn: another lone bugler, this time on the other side of the dome of St. Paul's cathedral began to play Reveille. "It's time to get up, it's time to get up, it's time to get up in the morning..."

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Ash Wednesday marked the start of the Lenten Fast. Lent is a season for penitence and introspection. Lent allows the person who is serious about Christian living the liturgical 'space' to prepare for the Passion of Christ, with all the wonderful and moving services, and the joyful Easter celebrations as we see the victorious Risen Saviour having defeated sin and the power of death.

In Lent, our churches take on a solemn look, with the colour purple signifying sorrow for sin and a deep attitude of penitence. Austerity as an outward appearance signifies the practice of self-discipline and abstinence in the life of the Christian man, woman or young person. True Anglican life seeks depth of being in the believer, and Lent becomes the time to explore prayer, fasting and other necessary spiritual disciplines.

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What do you want from faith?

Let's be specific about it, shall we? Our faith works two ways. Firstly, it enables us to come into a lively relationship with God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. That is an amazing benefit of the act of faith – access to the Lord of all creation by virtue of our dedication and belief!

Secondly, faith has definite benefits to the believer – this can be found in the sense of community within the church, or the sense of peace through prayer, or the sense of purpose in the proclamation of the message of the Gospel. Both the above are fairly 'wide' benefits of faith to the believer. What about my specific needs and the answers to my desperate cry for a solution to my problems? It is quite clear from scripture that Our Lord respects a straight answer to a straight question.

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