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Collect and Readings for Sunday 18th April 2021 Year B Zephaniah 3.14-end, Psalm 4, 1 John 3.1-7, Acts 3.12-19, Luke 24.36b-48
The Prayer for today
Almighty Father, who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples with the sight of the risen Lord: give us such knowledge of his presence with us, that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life and serve you continually in righteousness and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Easter is all about different, richer sort of life which we can all now have, thanks to Jesus going through death on the cross for us. It is a bit like the difference between a dry stick and one that is showing new shoots and life.

In today's Gospel we hear how Jesus comes to the locked room where his frightened disciples have met. He puts their minds at rest, so that they aren't terrified, even though they are open mouthed at God's power.Then Jesus explains things to them so that they begin to understand that Jesus had to die and rise again. He then commissions them, sending them out to set everyone free to live this way, as a living shoot rather than a dry stick.

In our secular society and world today there are a lot of dry sticks. Dry sticks are those people who are only interested in money and possessions or following their own wants and desires regardless of their impact on other people, society or the planet. They may look attractive with the latest clothes, make-up, cars but when they are really challenged and all the wealth and glamour are stripped away there is no real joy. The dry sticks are hard and often full of worries and anxieties, guilt and fear as they try to live up to expectations. In the long term this is a 'second best' way of living life.

The good news is that regardless of where you are at the moment, because Jesus went through evil and death without God's love slipping, He won for us all a victory over sin and evil which stops us living God's full life.

We all need God's forgiveness, we all need to admit to ourselves and God what we are really like and recognise how we are cut off from him. If we do this, his forgiveness starts to work and we can all become vibrant, warm joy-filled people, happy to be living God's life to the full rather than being trapped by things which really don't matter.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Christ is Risen. We are forgiven time and time again and it is with joy that we meet our risen Lord.

God bless and stay safe and well
Rev'd Fiona Robinson

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