From Revd Dr Mark Cheetham

Dear Friends,

In our different ways, we each know something about new beginnings and how they are often not easy. They can be created by a range of circumstances, some under our control because of decisions we have made, some are forced upon us through circumstances. The disciples knew about new beginnings when Jesus was crucified. Their world had fallen apart, so what would happen, what would they do next? They huddled together for support when Jesus appeared amongst them.

With all the changes that seen accentuated and accelerated over these last two or three years many are desperate for a resurrection for their lives, a new hope, a new vision for their future. Sometimes the hard part is not seeing the future but letting go of the past. I offer the following prayer, shared with me some time ago, as a resource to help you pray for yourself and those around you. I encourage you all, whether as individuals or as churches, to offer the past to God and seek his resurrection journey for your life and for those you love.

Lord Jesus Christ, we remember today how you rose again, bringing new beginnings out of what had seemed the end, a new chapter in the life of your Church which is still being written today.

We recall how your resurrection changed life for the disciples, calling them to let go of the past and embrace the future – their role no longer simply to follow but to lead, to go out in your risen power and proclaim the good news. We know that life must change for us too, but sometimes it is harder than we first anticipated, moving on a painful business, asking more of us than we feel able to give.

 Reach out to all who are finding endings hard to bear. We think of those reeling from the loss of a loved one, the termination of employment, the breakdown of a relationship or eviction from their homes. We think of those coming to terms with unfulfilled ambitions, let down by broken promises, or overcome by sudden catastrophe.

We think not only of others but also ourselves. Show us those areas in our lives where it is time to draw a line and move on – forms of service which are no longer fruitful, activities no longer appropriate, dreams no longer viable.

Give us the wisdom we need to understand when it is necessary to accept change and even to welcome it and give us courage then to stride out in faith, confident that you will lead us from the old to the new.

 Lord Jesus, remind us again today that endings can lead to new beginnings, that from the old, new life can spring, and may that confidence touch our lives and bring hope to our troubled world. Receive our thanks for all that has been and open our hearts to all that shall be.

We ask it in your name. Amen.

Rev Mark