The Palmerston Place Church Magazine is called ‘Review & Outlook ‘ and is published ten times per year.
There is no full edition of the Magazine for April due to current restrictions.
From The Interim Moderator
Telling the Easter story can be a challenge! It’s not like Christmas with stars, fancy presents and a baby. People are not eager to hear about nails and the agony of a death on a cross. Yet the central character is the same, Easter is what happened to the child in the manger when he was an adult.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. (Psalm 130:1)
These words are known as the ‘de profundis’ and are a heartfelt cry to God expressing profound sorrow or anguish.
What can we say this Easter? As coronavirus claims the lives of more of our fellow citizens and touches all nations, what words could there be to speak to the heartbreak many are experiencing? There could be nothing worse than false hope or empty words. Sometimes words are not needed, but in these days of isolation and social distancing, where the telephone, emails and even the humble letter has resurfaced, we know how important our words can be.
Thankfully, in the faith story of which we are a part, we find God is not silent nor has he left us without his aid. The Word became flesh and at Easter he entered into the depths of our human experience.
The cross reminds us that we are fragile, that our hold on life can be a delicate thing. The cross itself is a tragic loss of life, in the most difficult of circumstances. It is natural to want to avoid such things, but our faith doesn’t promise that. It does promise something better, for we discover at our most vulnerable that Christ is here. We are not alone, in the depths, Jesus is by our side. He has plumbed the deepest pit, the darkest ravine, the lowest point, that finding Jesus even in life’s agony we can catch a glimpse of something better ahead. There never were luscious green meadows for the Bible’s sheep! Their green pasture was the occasional shoot sprouting up amidst a desert landscape, which is why they often had to keep on the move.
So it is with a trust that God would provide from one day to the next, that David wrote: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside refreshing streams. He restores my strength.” Jesus placed his trust in the God who gave ‘enough bread for each day’. Even when he cried from the cross ‘My God, why have you forsaken me’ (Matthew 27:46) Jesus cried out to God. Confused, unsure, not knowing, questioning, fragile, Jesus trusts in the one who loves him with a love beyond all others.
The morning of the resurrection dawns, but slowly, as the agony of the Friday is still imprinted on his disciples’ memories. The men dismiss the women’s reports that they have met Jesus, and on several occasions they fail to recognise him. The disciples lock themselves down on Easter evening because of their fears and a week later they are not all convinced. We can say this at Easter: God raised Jesus from the depths and he meets with people who find believing hard because life is hard.
One of my favourite passages (John 20:19-23) comes from this time. When the risen Lord meets his anxious disciples on Easter evening behind those locked doors, his first words to them are “Peace be with you”. He shows them his hand and side to demonstrate that the one they are meeting with now is the one they saw suffer and die upon a cross. The disciples are overcome with joy. He speaks peace to them a second time and breathes on them, saying “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Still we find our peace in the presence of the risen Lord who connects us with the very breath or life of God.
In the company of the crucified and risen Jesus, new hope is born. This hasn’t changed: In the presence of the Risen Lord we find life, abundant and eternal.
May the Crucified and Risen Jesus be your constant companion in these days and may you and those you remember in prayer, know God’s loving embrace.
Audrey, Dawn, Fraser and I wish you a blessed Holy Week and Easter,
Revd Bill Taylor, Interim Moderator
The magazine will download to your computer in PDF format and you will be able to read it from there.
Click to download and view – March 2020
Click to download and view – February 2020
Click to download and view – December 2019