WMC: March 2017
From the Manse.....
During an Easter morning service a few years ago, I asked a member of the congregation to come and join me at the front of the church. This I hasten to add had all been planned and pre-arranged.
As he stood alongside me, I produced a pair of sharp scissors from behind the pulpit and cut off his tie just below the knot and then asked him to return to his seat.
Needles to say, the congregation were somewhat taken aback and shocked by what happened. Partly, because they had never seen Chris wear a tie to church before, but more importantly, they hadn't expected me to do what I did!
We then sang a hymn, had some prayers and continued with the service, before I returned to the subject of the mutilated tie.
The point I wanted to make was really quite simple.
Suppose later that day, a member of the congregation who had witnessed my assault on that piece of paisley fabric, bumped into someone from church who wasn't able to be at the service that morning and they went on to tell them all that had taken place.
What would the reaction of the other person be? Would they think that they were being fooled or wound up? Would they think it was a joke, or that perhaps somehow the person telling the story had got it wrong and was mistaken?
Then later on, that same person who had been absent that morning, spoke to others who had been there and heard the same tale regarding the tie-cutting. It wouldn't take long before they began to believe that the incident was both true and had been factually reported.
The initial reaction of many who heard the story that Jesus was alive; that he was risen from the dead was disbelief and confusion — they thought it was a fanciful tale. (Mark 16:8, Luke 24:11, 22-24, John 20:24-25).
However, as more and more people testified to the fact that they had seen him, so the reality and the enormity of what God had done began to sink in.
The message of the "Good News" which begun as lone voices, soon became a tumultuous cacophony proclaiming, He is risen — He is risen indeed, Alleluia!
We will be adding our own voices to that same message on Easter Sunday and I will, I promise, leave my scissors at home!
Happy Easter to you all.
With love and God bless,
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
From The Manse.....As we move into October having enjoyed some glorious weather through September, our thoughts as usual turn towards harvest.Like so much of this year, we will not be able to celebrate or to do what we have customarily done in the past.Smaller numbers in church, (where open) donations for food-banks to be isolated for 72 hours and those great harvest hymns internally hummed...
Alan and June Grunwald offered to run a quiz as part of the celebrations for Wantage 175 anniversary on Sat 26 Sept, which was when Rev Martin Smithson (former Minister and a quizzer) was due to come and preach. Martin will be preaching at the usual zoom morning service on 27 Sept. Alan and June have worked out how to hold a quiz on zoom which will be held on Sat 26 Sept at 7.30 pm. The quiz...
Saturday Sept 12th was a lovely day for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust annual fundraising event "Riders & Striders". The weather was ideal for walking or cycling around Oxfordshire's churches. June and Alan Grunwald walked with Alison Brown and Heather Wells, starting off in Wantage and then walking along the old canal to East and West Challow churches. They then visited the...