Thought for the Month (April 2009)

Our media is dominated by bad news, with words like 'credit crunch', recession, financial meltdown being used again and again. We are told we are facing world scale economic problems that have not been faced since the 1930's.

While these problems are only being faced by 'other' people, we can perhaps switch off the bad news in our heads but for many people now 'credit crunch' has become a reality. People are losing jobs in ever increasing numbers and many who have not lost their jobs yet are increasingly worried about doing so.

Those who are dependent on the interest received on their investments are having a torrid time. Family relationships have been deteriorating for many years but financial pressures always makes the problems worse. Families are increasingly falling apart in our own families, along our streets, amongst our friends.

And to cap it all the media always impresses on us not to expect it to get better soon. The good old days are not coming back and you have got every excuse to get depressed and stay that way. Or maybe if you are not affected too much personally, you are just getting hard hearted and leaving the rest of the world to sort out their own problems.

In short are you struggling to look forward with hope? Then Easter is a great time to put this right because Good Friday and Easter are at the very centre of the Christian Faith. There are other important festivals like Christmas and Pentecost but they don't have the key importance of Easter.

How do we know that? Well look at your Bible. Take for example the Gospel of Matthew and see how many chapters are written about the events of Easter, compared with the events of Christmas and Pentecost. A very significant part of the second half of the Gospel is dedicated to the death and resurrection of Jesus, indeed it is the dominating event of all the gospels. But read a gospel and check it out for yourself.

If you are reading 'Around the Bible in 80 Days' you will be piecing together the events of Holy Week and realising just how important this period was in Jesus' life and how important it is to us today.

When you realise just what Jesus went through and then begin to understand that He did it for you and me, you have a story that has the power to transform our lives.

Nothing the 'credit crunch' can throw at us is as bad as the events that Jesus faced, but the Jesus story ended with good news. He went down into the pits of hell but on Easter Day we celebrate the simple fact that He rose again. How do we know? Well the Bible tells us so. It may be an old ditty but it remains true and the more we read our Bibles, the more God's transforming power can give us the strength to be overcomers in this world.

We can face the world as resurrection people with an inspiring true story that really does transform lives. But we have to start by reading the story for ourselves, making it our personal story. When people see resurrection power in our lives they will sit up and take note.

I am going to watch the news now but I know that Jesus died for me and rose again so that I can live with Him. This knowledge makes all the difference!

Have a very happy Easter and be an overcomer for our Lord.

With love, Bob and Karen

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church