April 2024

Dear Friends,

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. [Luke 24: 1-3]

Many years ago, I came to church with a question: What is it all about and why is it so important? I was fascinated by the dominance of a carpenter’s son on the way we live today, two thousand years after his death. What was it about Jesus that influenced my life? Even in my ignorance I knew that Jesus’s life affected my holidays (Christmas and Easter), my education, my healthcare, my justice systems (“promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God”). Thus began my conversion to Christianity.

And I suppose that after many years of study, prayer and worship, I have a basic grasp of what Jesus is all about. In my humble opinion, it is quite simply love. St John quotes Jesus as saying “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” [John 13:34-35]

St Matthew writes: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.” [Matthew 22:37-39]

The classic questions we pose in life are: who (Jesus), what (death on a cross), where (Jerusalem), why (love), when (2000 years ago) and finally, how
(resurrection)? I think this final question (how) is why people lose their faith because they cannot explain how it happened. People today are so used to demanding and getting answers that they cannot accept that something is beyond their understanding.

Everyday on the news we hear about another public inquiry into this scandal or that failing, such as the Post Office / sub-postmasters inquiry which is currently frontpage news. And it is right that we do get to the bottom of such injustices and failings, put right the errors and learn from such events. It is important to understand how these things happened so that they are not allowed to re-occur. The demand for answers for every question seems to be greater than ever.

But, how does the empty tomb work? How does physical resurrection work? How was Jesus able to walk into a locked room, eat fish with his disciples, following his death on the cross? No public inquiry has yet been able to explain these things. Once again, I look to the Bible to help me answer these questions: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” [Mark 10:27]

Hence, I have stopped worrying about how, and I need to accept somethings are a matter of faith. A faith in God for whom all things are possible, including (for the scientists out there) the Big Bang.

I do, however, still concern myself with why? Once again, I look to the Bible to help me answer this question: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

May I wish you all every blessing and deep peace this Eastertide.

Revd Peter Kimberley

Skip to content