Nether Heyford Baptist Church
It is with regret that all services and events have been cancelled until further notice.
It is the 16th April 2020 and Easter has passed and what a different Easter it was – so different to what is normal and to what was expected. But needless to say we are living in different, difficult and distressing times and I don’t need to add any anything else to reiterate just how awful the experience is for so many. But I will add, along with many others, the appreciation to all key and front line workers who are doing so much for so many.
Daily routine has changed – our garden is more neatly cared for, fences have been painted, cars cleaned to a higher standard, garage tidy and daily walks in the nice weather have added to this very unusual time as we have greeted people, often strangers, at the required distance.
At a distance – so necessary and for those of us who have grandchildren, being separated from them has caused additional challenges although the advantages of modern communications such as “WhatsApp” and “face-time” has been wonderful. I decided to write to my grandsons, two live in Yorkshire and one locally and whilst searching through the card drawer I found rather humorous cards which read “grandparents are crucial because parents don’t have a clue” and the picture was of a beach scene in the early 1900’s with the grandparents so inappropriately dressed in their Sunday best making less than enthusiastic attempts to entertain the grandchildren with making sandcastles. Well it made me smile and so I sent them to my grandsons with a letter.
They are young so my words were carefully selected as I shared with them the significance of today’s events and that they may well talk about this year, 2020, with great significance to their children and their grandchildren. The impact of course to them will be different to the impact it now has on us because we are “in it here and now, experiencing it now, living with it now” – however it will be told the emphasis must be on its truth and its impact.
One of my favourite Bible accounts, pivotal to the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus following his crucifixion and death. Good Friday, his death, has no place, no power and purpose without the resurrection. But it is Thomas, doubting Thomas who I love to focus on and in particular these words, from John 20.
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus one of the Twelve), was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The horror of this pandemic must be told, must be reflected on, the truth of its impact must be remembered as the event which changed the world in 2020. It is real and it is relevant. Will my grandsons children and grandchildren believe in the significance of 2020? – I hope so.
The account of Thomas’s discovery in seeing Jesus – changed his life because he believed after he saw. But Jesus gave that wonderful and life changing reminder to Thomas, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Martin Buckby On behalf of the chapel fellowship
Betsy May’s (age 5) contribution:
God our Father, we’ve come to say,
Thank you for your love today,
Thank you for my family and all the friends you give to me,
Guard me in the dark of night and in the morning send your light
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