We are indeed living in strange and unprecedented times. Because of the current situation the Torch is only being published on-line, and so not everyone will get to read it. I have compiled a list of email addresses and have been keeping in touch with people in this way. If you are not on the list, please send me your email address so that I can include you. Various items, including broadcasts to replace our Sunday Services have been posted on our web and facebook pages. We are doing our best to support members at this time, so please let either one of the elders or myself know if you could do with a phone call or a text, or if you need food delivered.
It will be a strange Easter without the opportunity to gather together to celebrate the resurrection. However, that does not lessen the truth of what Jesus has accomplished. I came across an illustration from one of Tim Keller’s sermons. He writes:
Do you know what the word gospel means? Euangelion. It means literally the joy news. J.R.R. Tolkien, says there’s a kind of story … that brings us unbelievable joy … He says these stories always have a certain kernel to them. There’s always some incredibly hopeless situation, and victory is snatched out of the jaws of defeat. But how? Always through someone who comes in, and whose weakness turns out to be strength, someone whose defeat turns out to be a victory. He says it’s those kinds of stories that just seem to bring us joy. He called them eucatastrophes.
Do you know what the word eucatastrophe means? The joyful catastrophe. The tragedy that turns out to be a triumph. The sacrifice that turns out to bring joy. He said, however, there’s a Eucatastrophe of the eucatastrophes. There is a Story in all of the stories. He believes there’s a bass string to the human heart, and those stories can kind of make it reverberate a little bit but can’t pluck it.
Tolkien says the gospel story is the only story that will pluck that string so the whole heart never stops reverberating and vibrating with joy. The reason it will reverberate is … this is the reality to which all of the other stories point. It happened. It really happened. There really is a hero who defeats the villain. There really is Jesus. The word gospel means the joy news. Joy. It’s real. You have to have it.
This Easter, whatever our circumstance, may you know the truth of the the victory that Jesus has won for us on the cross. May we know the joy of the triumph that has emerged from the tragedy!
Colin A. Strong