Alleluia! Christ is risen!
Easter is here. All the hope of Christmas has been fulfilled. The baby has grown up and become someone who can give hope to our world. Hope is important. Hope is what we need. We need hope when things go wrong: When friends or family die young, when a marriage falls apart, when we are depressed or lonely. Christianity offers hope. We are not promised lots of money or an easy life. But we are given the hope to transform whatever life brings with it.
Hope is essential to life. With hope anything is tolerable but without hope even the happiest of times cannot touch the gnawing emptiness inside. Hope is something we need even when times are good. But sadly we don't tend to notice our need until things go wrong. Then its often too late. From a Christian point of view God cares and will reach out to those who call to Him. But how can you trust someone you have never met, never got to know? Hope needs nurturing during the good times otherwise it may not be there in the bad times when it is all we have left. Hope won't make those bad times good but it stops them being hopeless.
People find hope in many different places; different philosophies, different religions. I have found my source of hope in Christianity and that hope has seen me through some difficult times. I am happy to be a Christian priest not because it means I am any better than anyone else but because I have experienced something good and want other people to have a chance of experiencing something similar for themselves. That is why I am hosting an Alpha group this April.
What is Alpha? Alpha is a course that explores the basics of the Christian faith. This Alpha group is not hard sell Christianity. It is merely an opportunity to explore the faith and to ask those awkward questions in a relaxed setting. How long will it take? The Alpha group will aim to meet weekly for 10 weeks but the exact timetable will be worked out with those attending the course. If you find that the course is not for you no one will chase you up if you drop out. How much will it cost? Alpha is free. You will not be asked for any money.
If you are interested in Alpha just turn up. The lunch will be on Saturday 13th April, 12 noon at The Vicarage. If you are not able to come to the lunch on the 13th but are interested the Alpha group just give me a ring.
Revd Nigel Tuffnell