Glencairn Methodist Church
Out of Kilter?
About 8 or 9 days ago (on 22/23 March) the eastern counties of Northern Ireland were hit by a snow blizzard. Most places had some snow lying - my garden had about 5 inches - while those living in the hill country of Antrim and Down experienced snow drifts 6 to 10 feet deep - "the worst conditions in living memory", they said. Many lambs and sheep died under the snow. Wintry conditions indeed!
But yet the heavenly bodies declared that it was springtime. The sun passed the ecliptic on the Vernal equinox (20th), heralding longer hours of daylight and the Paschal moon shone brightly last Tuesday night (27th) telling us that Easter was to be celebrated on Sunday. It is as if the seasons are "out of kilter" with the calendar, that is, not working as they should.
Certainly the world seemed to be particularly out of kilter on Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified. The Gospels tell us that a great darkness covered the earth; there was an earthquake and the curtain in the Jerusalem temple was ripped in two from top to bottom.. Of course the earth and its inhabitants have been out of kilter since the time of Man's disobedience, the time when Adam and Eve disobeyed God's specific instructions. the world has been a difficult place to live in and men and women have continually messed things up, falling far short of the lovely creatures they were intended to be. Hence the need for Good Friday and Easter.
God considers Sin to be an abomination and so has to be atoned for. But God loves his creation and his creatures and so God himself, in the Person of God the Son, living in Jesus the man from Nazareth, paid the price for our Sin, thus opening up the route for men and women to be reconciled with God. This was a gracious act of a gracious and living God.
The Crucifixion is largely an undisputed historical event. The Resurrection is disputed by those who cannot believe that it, too, is an historical event. The Bible records that many people saw the resurrected Jesus, and those who believe this and accept Jesus as Lord of their lives are reconciled to God, are forgiven and saved.
The following words were written by St Paul and help to explain the situation. This song has been used in worship by Christians since the beginning. Sing it throughout this season of Easter and may you be blessed with faith.
Christ our passover has been
sacrificed for us,
Christ, once raised from the dead
dies no more;
Christ has been raised· from the
1 Corinthians 5: 7,8; Romans 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22
Book of Common Prayer (c) 2004 Representative Church Body
30th March 2013
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm