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From the Minister... 

Dear friends,
Season’s Greetings! Before you flick back to the front cover of this month’s INSight, checking the date to make sure you’ve got the right date, let me assure you that there’s no need to panic. It is May 2022 and I haven’t mistakenly cut and pasted an article from my Christmas archive. Instead, I wanted to pass on my best wishes to all of you for the season of Easter.

For those of us who don’t pay close attention to the rhythms of the church year, it’s easy to forget that it consists not just of ‘high days and holidays’ but rather a sequence of periods of time when we are summoned to reflect on different aspects of the Christian faith. The year begins with the season of Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus, followed by Christmas and then Epiphany. Lent is a period of self-examination and selfdenial that precedes the season of Easter, which lasts for fifty days before Pentecost and the commencement of ‘ordinary time’ that completes the year.

I’ve been reflecting recently on these cycles of the year, and especially what strikes me as the strange inconsistency between how we mark Lent and Easter. Lent is a season for which many of us make careful preparation. We give time to considering what exactly God might be asking us to give up or what new habits we might form, and some of us might even choose a book to help us reflect during the season. But then Easter Day arrives and we enjoy a joyful Sunday morning service, followed by an afternoon of chocolate eggs and a bank holiday weekend before normal service resumes. I hope I am not alone in thinking that this represents something of a mismatch between time spent in self-denial and time spent celebrating new life. So what might a whole season of Easter look like?

As I’ve thought about this question, my mind has turned to the name of one of the last books written by the American pastor and theologian Eugene Peterson, a study of Ephesians called Practise Resurrection. The title of the book is evocative and stirs my imagination. I like its suggestion that resurrection is more than an event that happened a long time ago, but also an attitude, a way of seeing the world that might transform not just how we think but also how we act. It reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s famous description of Jesus’ emergence from the empty tomb as ‘the firstfruits’, (1 Cor 15:23), the first of many other resurrections to follow until the time finally arrives when ‘he has put all his enemies under his feet’ (v25).

So what might be mean for each of us to ‘practise resurrection’ during the rest of the season of Easter? As Eugene Peterson helpfully reminds us, this is not a call to each of us to do more, to come up with a list of new activities or initiatives. Instead, he writes that, ‘A lively sense of Jesus’ resurrection, which took place without any help or comment from us, keeps us from attempting to take charge of our own development and growth… We live our lives in the practice of what we do not originate and cannot anticipate. When we practise resurrection, we continuously enter into what is more than what we are.’

What does this look like in practice? Perhaps the best starting point for each of us might be to make this season one when we resolve to be more open to the leading of God, asking him to open our eyes to new opportunities which are emerging and which might be his summons to new life. As SBC continues to build back from Covid, are there new people we are getting to know or new initiatives beginning which we might be able to take part in? Is there a prompting in our spirit, some new idea which refuses to go away, and how might exploring this further be a means of God granting us new energy and using us to bless others?

Or might this season of resurrection be one where God transforms what we think of as dead or discarded and brings new life instead? Is there a dream we had long given up on and now we’re feeling inspired to explore it afresh, to pick up paintbrushes, a writing pen or a musical instrument long since discarded? Is there a relationship which has been unreconciled for too long and now someone is getting back in touch, opening up the possibility of restoration?

The resurrected Jesus has made a promise to us: ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will opened’ (Matthew 7:7–8). Why not make this season of Easter one of asking, seeking and knocking? If you do so with an open heart, I have no doubt that you will know new life as God helps you to discover more about himself and more about yourself too. 

Glenys
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Selsdon Baptist Church > About Us > Blog > Blog List > From the Minister... 

Welcome 

We’re glad you've chosen to have a look at our website, and hope you’re interested to find out more about Selsdon Baptist Church.

A church is primarily about people, and we are a friendly group of people who love God and live in Selsdon and nearby.

We have a church building on Addington Road, Selsdon, and we are starting to worship again in this space as Covid restrictions ease. Some people are still not comfortable joining us in person, so we also live stream our worship on YouTube

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Leadership 

Trevor Neill   12
Rev Trevor Neill   Rev. Denzil Larbi
Ministry Team Leader   Associate Minister with a focus on Evangelism
 
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