Mr Peter Williams led our worship last Sunday and we were able to congratulate him on successfully completing the recent London Marathon in three hours thirteen minutes where he raised over £3,000 towards the cost the work of ‘Compassion” in Ethiopia. Our steward Sue Fox welcomed Peter who in his call to worship used words from Psalm 118 ”O give thanks to the Lord for he is good; and his mercy endures for ever”. As this was the fifth Sunday in the Easter season Peter chose this as his theme, with Rod Smith on the organ we sang the Easter hymn “I know that my Redeemer lives – what joy the blessed assurance gives”.

There followed prayers of praise, thanksgiving and confession. Sue Fox read from Luke’s Gospel, chapter 24 in which the writer tells of the Resurrection of Jesus and the discovery that the grave stone had been rolled away and he was risen from the dead. After our prayers for others Peter led our thoughts on the importance of the resurrection for us all. That for the first time in history a man had been raised from death. St Paul speaks of the resurrection of our Lord as being of the utmost importance as it shaped history. “Does this story become routine rather than a story of the greatest event ever?” asked Peter. The three women who found the stone rolled away and Jesus alive, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and they all knew Jesus. They rushed to tell the surviving eleven disciples the news and St Peter ran to the tomb and saw the linen wrappings and nothing else. He was amazed at what had happened.

“We look for life and fulfilment in the wrong places”, said Peter. “I come to have life and having it to the full” said Jesus. His resurrection gave great joy to the three women who discovered he was risen. New life, certain hope and good overcoming evil are the positive consequences of his resurrection, and because Jesus was raised everything has changed.