More Notes from The Orchard – 60
More Notes from The Orchard – April 2019
April – Apologies! This is a very difficult set of notes to write: since Easter will be so late this year – 21st April when in theory at least these notes should have been available from 1st April. That date of course precludes an opening to celebrate the joys of Easter when we haven’t even got to Passion or Palm Sunday so this month there will need to be a Part Two, ready for Easter Sunday, as I wouldn’t want to finish these notes on the sombre tone of the Crucifixion of Jesus. I cannot ignore either the shambles we seem to have got ourselves into over the political developments of ‘Brexit’ which appear to be going from bad to worse. We have arrived at this point because we can only see the picture through the lenses of our own vision which, of course, is the only correct one. We are right, are we not, and everyone else is wrong? We all believe in the Frank Sinatra anthem of doing things ‘My Way’, don’t we? Doesn’t seem to be working very well. . . Oh, away from politics which never manage to solve any problems in spite of the basic goodwill that lies behind the many attempts!
We might perhaps succeed if our plans included more consideration of how to make things better for other people but the vision of ourselves keeps getting in the way. . . This time is even worse because it is not just I’m right and you’re wrong. There are far too many of us who believe we are right that we can’t even listen to each other. We talk over each other, raise our voices so that our views are the ones that get heard and before we know where we are we shall be acting like Cain and Abel. Alas, our teachers forgot to teach us how to debate properly and we ourselves have forgotten, if we ever learnt, how to do it ourselves.
Perhaps we have all simply become too selfish. In these last weeks of Lent is there anything we can do to improve things in the light of the teachings of Jesus? It’s a bit late for ‘Brexit’ but we do have to go on living afterwards, however it goes. We need to concentrate on being kind to the winners so we can work together! And pray, pray that whatever happens the good Lord gets it right even if we get it wrong.
Christians believe that when God created us, he gave us free will, so when we are tempted to do those things we know we shouldn’t, we can always choose to say “No!” difficult though it might be. . .
© Katy Bell
Postscript for Easter 2019
I have to wonder how many of those who got up on Sunday last – among them the children who imagined a day of delicious chocolate Easter Eggs – and went off joyfully with their parents to enjoy the most important celebration of the Christian year. I bet hardly any of them gave any thought to the gift they were about to receive from the God who loved them enough to give his life for them!
Most people never think of that gift: the Resurrection and everlasting life. Most people just never think of death at all. None of us are so stupid to believe that we are never going to die but as soon as the thought of death enters our mind we push it away. Usually, until the moment we are affected personally by the fact of death itself it is something that happens to other people. Sudden and unexpected death is always shocking and the murder of so many people at once is terribly difficult to accept.
The majority of Christians feel exactly the same unless they are able to truly believe in the words from Jesus as he himself was dying on his cross, when he said to his optimistic companion in death, the ‘good’ thief:
“This very day you will be with me in Paradise!”
Most people at some time ask the question why does God let such awful things happen? It is not God who lets such things happen. We do! We are not tied to his apron strings: we are free to choose – we can be good and kind to our neighbours or we can choose to do exactly the opposite’.
Dear Lord, I have read your words and they do make sense – please help me, help my unbelief. . .