A message from the Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Posted by Admin on Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:46

Stephen Sutcliffe 230xThe Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Assistant Curate

2 St Faiths Rd

Cowes.

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Tel: 01983 652506

Email: steve.alan.sutcliffe@icloud.com

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Well, hello to you my friends!

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I hope that this newsletter finds you all well and in good spirits.
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With spring in full throttle now and Easter just a few weeks away, I doubt you will be surprised that my attention is turning towards new beginnings and fresh starts.
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After enduring the cold dark winter months, I always appreciate the lighter days and warmer temperatures that spring brings. The new growth and the beautiful flowers that adorn our trees and hedgerows are such a sight to see. The only downside is that it means our hedges and our lawns will soon need cutting!
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Nature has a wonderful way of regeneration. After the slumber and rest of the winter, the way nature springs back to life is always a source of happiness for me. And this is the same when I meet people who have gone through a period of darkness in their lives.
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I always find the resilience of the human spirit quite remarkable. The way we can recover from difficult days always brings me hope and reminds me of the resurrection story. The way that Jesus was restored after his death, proving to humanity that death was no barrier for our souls, brings me, as you can imagine, a lot of peace. It also shows me the power of forgiveness and the fresh start.
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I believe Jesus came into the world to show us how to live a life that would bring us joy and happiness. He showed us how to live alongside those who we may not necessarily agree with all of the time. But sadly whilst he was reaching out to us, others were offended because his stand made them look foolish.
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As we know even right up to this present day, no one likes to look foolish in front of others, so these religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus and get rid of the perceived problem. Sadly, the leaders were so wrapped up in trying to show their followers that they were in control and were ultimately right, that they turned the people against Jesus and he paid the price for going against the religious leaders, with his life.
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Now I appreciate that while this newsletter will not be read by many hardcore criminals, I’m sure some of us, myself included, have fallen out with people because they have made us look small or embarrassed us in some way.  If that’s the case, then Jesus’ story is especially for us. For within it lies the power of forgiveness.
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Jesus died on the cross, defiant to the end that his followers, his people, that’s you and I, would experience life with all its beauty and joy, even in the dark days that we experience. Jesus never gave up trying and after he had died, we might have excused him if, upon his resurrection, he had immediately gone around to the religious leaders and taunted them.
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But he didn’t; he forgave them.
The power of forgiveness lies within us all. The power to be able to say I’m sorry or please don’t worry lies in each one of us. The power to release another from the blight of misunderstanding will also release us from the misery of holding on to pain.
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All of us from time to time, however we try to avoid it, have caused pain from a misunderstanding. If we hold on to the pain from a misunderstanding, then we hurt ourselves. The power of forgiveness not only releases others from pain but it releases us too. We all have made mistakes and therefore we should all be quick to forgive.
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Through that forgiveness we will look upon the world in a clearer, less hurtful way. This is one aspect of the resurrection story. The power to forgive and the power to release the hurt and pain that holding on to past hurts cause us.
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My prayer for us all as we approach Easter is that we all will be released from the hurt of past misunderstandings and that through it we will be resurrected into a new way of thinking.
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May I wish you all a most blessed and peaceful Easter time.

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Rev’d Steve.

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