Dear Friends,

Farewells are usually difficult both for the people who are leaving and for those who remaining. Occasionally we have seen that TV Programme where people are planning to move to another country. They have to weigh up the cost of moving. Comparisons of house prices, shopping, salaries and of course those other vital things like will you have a better quality of life spending more time together than you do now. One of the most heart wrenching parts is when they speak to family and friends usually by skype. That’s when the tears really start to flow.

Conscious as I am of our own situation as a Church and as a family Easter has a vital Message for us re. Change.

In John 14 Jesus seeks to prepare his close friends for His Departure. In fact piecing the gospels together He had already sought to do this and received some difficult response. Thomas owns up to not knowing what Jesus is driving at re. The Way and Philip has yet to realise the relationship between God The Father and God The Son. I can not believe that they were alone in the group re. This.

Then there was the devastating experience of Jesus being betrayed and denied with in THE Group. The unthinkable happens He dies. Then the unbelievable Events of Easter Sunday and the 40 days that follow. SOME are still doubting right up to the Great Commission. That’s in the plural, so it can’t be restricted to Thomas, who by this time wasn’t one of the doubters anyway.

Jesus finally leaves the Earth in Person although not in Presence. There is the Great Farewell in Matthew 28 and Acts 1. How did they feel? His cry at the Cross: “IT IS FINISHED!” speaks of the completion of the Task His Father gave HIM to carry out. The Power of Sin and Death defeated! Resurrection and Ascension follow until such time when HE RETURNS! But for the time being they and we are given a very clear task. Not simply in keeping the show going or the ship afloat, whatever analogies you wish to use. No the task is plain keep on doing the work that Jesus has pioneered and started. Witnessing and making disciples has many varied ways and forms of taking shape.

We emphasise rightly that the Cross is NOT the End. Well Easter is also NOT THE END. It is a NEW BEGINNING. For me literally it was on Easter Sunday 1971 that I surrendered my life to Jesus. The change took root in my life. Baptism followed.

Could it be that This Easter that a Reader of this Article has yet to experience that change. In the words of John Thompson who led me to Jesus that night:

“Now is the Day of Salvation. You may think you can put it off but the Time is NOW for you to ask Jesus into your life!”

May we ALL know God’s Presence wherever we GO!

Your Friend and Pastor,

Anthony Orr

Leamington Spa Baptist Church
Tel: 01926 336650 or email us