It was Easter Sunday and the sun certainly wasn’t shining ……..

But the welcome of the people at Marston United Reformed Church,Oxford was  certainly not lacking in light and warmth. There are good ecumenical links between this congregation and six other congregations through Churches Together in Marston and Northway. Further links with churches in other countries are also shared, a wooden carving from Kerala inIndiaand a wall plaque from the Waldensian church in Pinerolo were evidence of these. In welcoming people to the service the Church Secretary led everyone in a Zambian welcome – looking forward to a new link which the congregation is currently forging.

This being Easter we read the story from John’s gospel and reflected on some of the words which we find in the familiar passage. The urgency with which the women went to the tomb and the priority they gave to telling someone else the news – no long drawn out committees or Task Groups just some simple, decisive and life changing actions. The way they dealt with the unexpected again and again and the way this event turned them from being disciples into being evangelists. We reminded ourselves that they had had to ‘bend down’ to see into the grave and that maybe we too sometimes needed to put a bit more effort into looking for Jesus in unexpected places.

Transformation is at the heart of the Easter story and we can find examples of it all around us if only we look, transformation in the natural world, in the lives of people we know and in our own lives. That is the basis of the hope we hold out for the world. The first Easter Day offered transformation for all and the possibility that we can all, like Mary, say “I have seen the Lord”

On Sunday there were Easter eggs instead of biscuits to be shared over coffee – a symbol of the new possibilities which are there if only we have the confidence to capture them.

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