A message from the Rev’d Amanda Collinson

Posted by Admin on Thursday, 22nd March 2018, 21:03

Amanda Collinson

Priest-in-Charge

St John the Baptist Church

Northwood.

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Tel: 01983 294913

Email: amandacollinson01@gmail.com

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HELLO THERE!
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What is the biggest surprise you have ever had? The one that caught your breath, made you scream? One of mine was when my husband proposed to me – I knew it was going to happen, indeed I had given him a deadline of 28th Feb, otherwise I was going to propose to him the following day as it was a leap year, but I didn’t expect him to do it where and when he did: I screamed and then cried a lot…..he would tell you that he never actually heard me say ‘Yes’!

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Another surprise I remember was when my military colleague surprised his children by being in a box at a birthday party. Not due home for months he was able to get a short mid-deployment break, but his wife hadn’t told the children.  When he jumped out of the box I am sure his children caused many eardrums to split, but there was the most amazing feeling of joy, love and happiness in the room with us, and yes there were more tears.

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However, the biggest surprise for me was when Jacob, our eldest son, had his ‘ears’, or their real name cochlear implants, turned on.  We had been warned that he would not react straight away – profoundly deaf from birth Jacob had never heard anything EVER in his 14 months of life so it was going to take time for his brain to start processing the noises that were now coming in through the implants.  The audiologist turned the electrodes on inside his head and we held our breath.  She them banged a drum….. His head whipped around towards her so quickly.  We all screamed.  The audiologist banged it again and Jacob smiled – she said that this reaction was very unusual and very special.  We gave the drum to Jacob who started hitting the drum himself with a big wide smile on his face.  Yes, there were a whole world of tears that day.

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For us, it was nothing short of a miracle and many other people have had similar experiences when medicine has achieved things we’d not thought possible – paralysed people walking again, cancer disappearing, even the blind beginning to see.

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Miracles. Whatever you may think of them, I would argue that they are still happening – not only the medical advance ones but also the ones that cannot be explained by doctors.  There is a website that details the ‘List of Approved Lourdes Miracles’ the last of which dates back to 2002; back in 2016 I went to see the film ‘Miracles from heaven’ based on a true story of a young girl with an incurable disease which was cured; even Billy Graham, who died recently, was cited to be part of a miraculous healing at the beginning of his crusade work.  All significant, but this month we celebrate one of the greatest miracles…

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Despite Jesus telling his followers a good number of times that he was going to die but rise again, his resurrection still came as a big surprise for them.  Most were still stunned by his barbaric death on the cross, a sudden ending to his ministry. Many of his friends had gone into hiding, fearful that they would be next…… and then the women come back on the 3rd morning and say ‘He is not there. He is risen.’

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For those of us who know the story, we cannot even begin to truly understand the surprise, the joy, the turmoil those disciples must have felt when they heard this. But if we remember the event that gave us the biggest surprise and multiple that by about 1000% we may start to appreciate what a monumental event this was – for them but also for the world.

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And indeed, it remains a monumental event for us Christians today. It has just been over a year since I returned from the Holy Land and yet I can still vividly remember my time, in the early morning, when I sat by the Sea of Galilee where Jesus was alleged to have cooked breakfast for his disciples after he had risen from the dead.  And on this year’s Easter Sunday I will have stood on the beach of Gurnard at sunrise, looking out to sea and celebrated the risen Lord. Two very different experiences in two very different countries but both remembering this one amazing miracle, the greatest of surprises, when Jesus rose from the dead.  And as one of his present-day disciples I will keep on doing what he told his followers to do nearly 2000 years ago – to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to tell them of God’s love and share his peace with everyone I meet.

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Wishing you a blessed Easter and a month of wonderful surprises!
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Rev’d Amanda

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