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April/May 2014

posted 22 Aug 2014, 09:03 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 22 Aug 2014, 09:04 ]

Dear All,

I'm never quite sure which is my favourite season, spring or autumn. Today is a beautiful early spring day. The crocuses are in full bloom, the snowdrops almost over and the daffodils starting to unfurl their petals. A time of new beginnings. And in the same way this is a time of new beginnings in both our churches. The induction service was a wonderful way to celebrate those new beginnings. Thank you to all those who contributed in whatever way to the success of that event. I felt thoroughly welcomed to both churches. Your warmth and welcome has continued over the last couple of weeks, and it has been much appreciated. Hopefully I will get to know you all more closely over the coming weeks and months.

I am very grateful to Rev'd Lisa Eunson, who has helped to make the process of transition run more smoothly. Change is never easy for those involved, inevitable though it is. Some of you may have heard that Lisa is not well at the moment. Can I ask you all to pray for her at this difficult time.

Lent is a wonderful time to begin a new ministry. It is the time in the churches year when we take stock, both individually and as a worshipping community. It's the time when we pause to consider our lives and the directions they are heading in. When we say 'for all that has been – thank you, God. For all that shall be – come, Lord Jesus.'

And of course, Lent flows into Easter, that great time of celebration for the church. It is the time when we remember the foundation of our faith and what that faith means for us today. Our faith is not just one of words, but of actions. It has at its heart the greatest act of all, forgiveness. One of the basic human needs is the need to be loved and accepted. Jesus demonstrated by his death that God loves us and accepts us as we are. It does not matter who we are, or what we have done, God seeks us out because of his great love for us. This is the message that the Church should be proclaiming by its words and by its actions.

The Cross is also a message of commitment. It expresses God's commitment to all humanity, throughout the generations. As such it demands equal commitment from us. If we accept that Jesus died for us on the cross, we must also accept the commitment that places on us.

In some churches there is a tradition of having a 'Covenant Service' at key points in the church life. It is an opportunity for us to reaffirm the covenant God has made with humanity, to acknowledge what God requires and requests of us, and to recommit our lives to God once again. The service has in it these words:

"Christ has many services to be done:

Some are easy, others are difficult;

Some bring honour, some bring reproach;

Some are suitable to our natural inclinations and material interests,

Others are contrary to both;

In some we may please Christ and please ourselves;

In others we cannot please Christ except by denying others.

Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ,

who strengthens us."

These words remind us of our calling this Easter. As we remember Christ's death and resurrection, so may I ask us to remember how Christ calls us to serve him and his church in the world.

With every blessing,