THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION
As readers will know, yesterday was Easter Sunday, a very special day in the church calendar. Our meetings were led by Lt. Cols. Anthony and Gill Cotterill, Divisional Commander and Divisional Director for Women’s Ministries respectively.
There are no prizes for guessing the theme of the meetings and this was emphasised in the morning by the pre-meeting ‘Introit on an Easter Hymn’ from the Band which was followed by scripture from Luke 24:1-12. Songs chosen were 152 and 143 from the Salvation Army Song Book together with 753, and 646 from Songs of Fellowship.
The Songsters and the Singing Company each brought musical celebration with ‘Alive’ and ‘O what a Morning’ respectively. Both these groups bring so much blessing to our worship week by week and yesterday was no exception.
Ten of our youngsters have been to the Divisional Children’s Week at Vinehall School, near Robertsbridge, for the past few days and spoke briefly about what they had each particularly enjoyed. Four members of the staff also came from Chatham. We hope to bring a report from one of the young people later in the week.
The message was brought by Lt. Col. Anthony who said it is lovely that we can celebrate Easter as a family of God. “He is not here, but is risen”. “Oh my God, there’s something moving in there” shouted the woman who, unexpectedly in the dead of night, had happened upon the resurrection tableau being arranged in the window of a Salvation Army hall. We have to grasp that context. Something happened! It was hard to believe Mary’s story about meeting Jesus in the garden but it is compelling that the alternativesare even more unlikely than the resurrection itself. But the appearances of Jesus continued, they did not stop. The evidence was insurmountable. Everything in our Christian faith hinges on whether Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Of all the witnesses no one changed his story. Not a single one made a deal with the authorities. Compelling indeed. They all knew he had risen. Two thousand years later nothing less than this can sustain the Christian faith and, because of it, you can know the power of Christ in your life today. Hallelujah – Jesus is ALIVE!
The evening meeting included plenty of singing with the use of songs 147 and 59 from the Salvation Army Song Book and 443, 897, 1757 and 1377. In fact SoF 443 (Open our eyes Lord) was sung no less than three times as we were continually prompted with the thought ‘so you think you know the Easter story’. Challenging us in the form of a series of questions in the style of the TV show ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ the congregation responded with enthusiasm. Scripture used was Luke 24:13-49 and Gill brought together the thoughts of the evening explaining how Jesus revealed himself to the disciples at Emmaus and how they were lifted in spirit by that revelation. Jesus was invited to stay and he did.Similarly we can invite him into our lives and he will come in. He will fill us with understanding and the hope of eternity with Him. One final question – having heard again the account of the Emmaus walk, where does that leave you?
The Band’s contribution was ‘He Lives’ and the Songsters brought ‘Before the Cross’. Peter Willard testified to the work the Lord has been doing in his life and how he has been able to resolve differences from the past, resulting in him expressing a willingness to commit himself to becoming a Soldier in The Salvation Army.
This was an inspiring Sunday which we are thrilled to be able to share through this website. It would be good to hear from readers what this Easter has meant to them so why not write a comment.
We wish all our readers a great week ahead and give thanks to God for his marvellous gift. Join us again soon.