Pastoral Letter – April 2020
This letter is taken from the April edition of our Parish News and was written before churches had to close due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
It is finished
A few weeks ago, I was listening to Desert Island Discs on Radio 4. Ian Wright, the former footballer turned TV presenter, was the guest and he broke down in tears as he talked about the impact of his PE teacher, Sydney Pigden’s encouragement to develop his skills, to concentrate and focus on his future. This teacher had changed the course of the direction of Ian’s life and he was extremely thankful. Sadly, Mr Pigden passed away in 2017 but his legacy lives on in Ian Wright and, I imagine, all those others that he influenced.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own teaching experience of seventeen years as a primary school teacher. Had I made a similar impact on any of my former pupils I wondered? I don’t know the answer and I’m not sure I’ll ever find out. But who knows the impact of what we do in this world?
One person who understood only too well about the impact of his words, his life and his ministry was Jesus. As he breathed his final breath, while dying on the cross, he said ‘It is finished’.
But what did he mean? What was finished? There are many possible answers. It could be Jesus’ work and ministry here on earth and the end of what the Father had called him to do or it could be that the power of sin was vanquished by Jesus’ sacrificial act on the cross. You may have other ideas about what was finished and many theologians debate this even today.
Whatever we believe, it certainly signifies the successful end to a particular course of action. It's the word you would use when you climb to the peak of Mt. Everest; it's the word you would use when you hand in a long overdue essay; it's the word you would use when you make the final payment on your new car; it's the word you use when you cross the finish line of your first 10K run. The word means more than just "I survived." It means "I did exactly what I set out to do."
However, when Jesus cried out "It is finished," he meant "It was finished in the past, it is still finished in the present, and it will remain finished in the future." This is the Easter message of hope and redemption for us all. We celebrate the lamb who was slain because the victory is as true today, as it was 2000 years ago and as it will be still in 2000 years’ time.
So, I encourage you this year to truly be Easter people and spread the hope and joy of the risen Christ with those around you. You may never know the impact of your words, but you could help change lives through the grace of God by telling them about Jesus.
May I wish you all a blessed Eastertide.
Rev'd Alex Jeewan
Previous copies of our Pastoral Letter
24 March 2020
Dec 2019-Jan 2020
Dec 2018/Jan 2019