Rev Gill Rowell Going forth boldly It seems barely possible that I have been here only a year…In many senses the move was a big risk: I wasn’t familiar with Tilehurst, I didn’t know anybody, and I was leaving a community that (mostly!) loved me. And yet there was a compulsion within me that coming here was the right thing to do. God was in it all the way, from the ﬁrst time that I read the advert, to writing out the application, praying - alone and with friends, receiving words and pictures of encouragement, coming for the interview, driving home thinking about the tremulousness of such an enormous change in my life. I hadn’t planned on moving, and yet God had led me to that point where I needed to push open a door, and dare to dream a new dream. And when you know that God is with you, that gives you a strength, and energy and motivation which enables you to not just cope with the change but to embrace it; in the words of a well known hymn, written by Timothy Dudley Smith, (which has actually never been a favourite of mine, but exudes the truth of the Gospel nonetheless!)
“Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us self on the cross and Christ upon the throne, past put behind us, for the future take us: Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone.” When Jesus is the centre of your life, all things are possible. Our APCM meeting on 7th April will be an important one for St Catherine’s and Cornwell Community Church as we rejoice in all that God has done in and through us over the past year, and look ahead to the future he is calling us to. Transformation is at the heart of the Gospel, which means that change is inevitable – even if we stand still, things will change around us. But when we are rooted in Christ, and when He is the one who is our security and stability, we need not fear the unknown, but putting our hand into His, we can let Him lead us where we might otherwise fear to tread. How amazing is that? The Christian gospel is full of paradox: for any statement I can make when preaching, another can usually be made, which is still true, but opposite. We have a God who has entered our world in the person of Jesus – and yet is also everywhere at the same time. We have a God who knows what suﬀering is – ironically cruciﬁed for being the “king of the Jews” – and yet is the author of all life. Jesus did no wrong, knew no sin, was totally innocent – his death was an utter scandal – and yet through it we can know God and know abundant life. And we have a God who rose again – conquering death - even though he died! Easter captures the whole range of human experience and emotions; but more than that – Jesus puts us right with God. What is more - because of the Easter story, our past does not have to dictate our future; every day is a new day. Life is not a dress rehearsal; we only have one life to live – and the resurrection calls us to live our lives in the light of eternity and God’s goodness - to live boldly, and courageously, with bright hope for today and tomorrow. Happy Easter.
The Parish Magazine of Tilehurst St. Catherine and Calcot St. Birinus