A message from Revd Lyn McRostie, Rector of Northwood

Posted by Admin on Thursday, 22nd March 2007, 00:00

In this past month I’ve been meeting each week with some small groups to talk about the relevance of the church’s message in today’s culture. We’ve been thinking about how to re-tell the Christian story in ways which makes connections with people who see themselves as being spiritual but not religious. Some of what we’ve been hearing and reading has been challenging for those of us used to church and how we have been doing things. I hope that some of what we have learned may inspire us to try different things.

Our conversations have made me go back to the fundamental question “what is faith”? If I ask you that, I’m sure you could give a wealth of definitions, maybe even go into all sorts of rational, psychological and scientific explanations – but let me offer you this completely different sort of description which could be said to come not from the left side of the brain, the logical side, but from the right side, the creative and imaginative side. In the Letter to the Hebrews we read: “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.

I find this explanation wonderfully encouraging. It means we don’t have to get ourselves bogged down in all sorts of cerebral, formal arguments about Easter. If we’re not careful we can get so caught up in discussions about the exact nature of Christ’s Resurrection and the structure of Christ’s body that we lose sight of the Biblical testimony to the Resurrection and the committed witness of Christians since that first Easter Day. I’m glad that we’re not reduced to things which can only be measured, compared and narrowly defined. I’m glad also that wherever we are in our journeys of thinking about Jesus and Easter, we are welcomed by a loving God.

The Scottish minister and poet Kathy Galloway put it this way:

I do not know
what resurrection is
(though I’m almost sure
it has something to do
with hallowing the common ground.)
Of course, that’s not all of it.
I expect one day I’ll get up
and find that it sneaked up on me
while I wasn’t looking,
and maybe even that it’s been there all along.
That’s as may be.
There’s no point in trying to see things
before you’re ready.
You have to walk before you can run.
In the meantime,
I believe in it
and that feels like an initial step.
For now,
it will do.
It is enough.

So this Easter Day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope that you will celebrate and indulge yourselves. Celebrate with Christians everywhere as we rejoice in the gift of the Resurrection, Jesus Christ risen from the grave, join in the hope and promise offered to us all in this gift – and indulge and be generous to yourselves, as the poem suggests.

With love and prayers

Lyn

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