Bansfield BeneficeDiocese of St Edmundbury & IpswichChurch of England Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes

Church News Volume 5, Issue 5 (April 2004)

Dear friends,

There is a green hill far away,
without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

The familiar hymn reminds us that the crucifixion took place at a particular spot on earth; that it took place at a particular time we are told in the Creed, "under Pontius Pilate", the Roman Procurator of Judea from AD 26-36. But the act accomplished then and there is not to be thought of as confined to one, narrow, far-off, local time- and -place.

Its real value and significance is not among the things of time; the crucifixion is not a slowly fading memory of something that once happened, and is no more.

The early Christian Fathers of the Church emphasise the Incarnation, for they see that the Passion derives all its value from the Person of Him who suffered and died upon Calvary. "The Son of God has become the Son of Man, that the sons of men might become the sons of God" said St. Athanasius.

What was to be seen on Calvary was a divine Act, which however immersed and displayed in the outward, brutal and sordid circumstances in which it took place, has its origin and cause in the Mind and Will of the eternal God, Creator of all things. A divine, yet no less truly a human, act -embraced by the human mind of Jesus, accepted and freely chosen and carried out. No necessity or compulsion blurred the perfectly free acceptance and offering of Calvary.

Jesus offered Himself, wholly and entirely, as a sacrifice expressive of the worship, praise, honour, thanksgiving, love, obedience and service, that man owes to his Creator and Lord.

Jesus freely gave Himself for us on the Cross, He took our place as the punishment for our sin, not because He was forced to, but because He wanted to. The death of Jesus on the Cross speaks to us of God's love for us and the generosity of His love.

But we should not be surprised about God's generosity. Jesus showed it by His actions when on earth. Did not the water change into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, not just a few bottles but gallons of the best wine in six stone water jars; not just food for 5,000 people to keep them from fainting in hunger on the way home, but so much to feed them that twelve baskets full of scraps were left from the few loaves and fishes; not just a few fish for the fishermen who had fished all night on the Lake Galilee without a catch, but so full were their nets that they almost burst!

Yes, God's generosity is well documented in the Bible. And in life - how we sing our hymns about the abundance of God's generosity at Harvest time. We look forward to the bursting forth of the countryside this Spring and summer. Not just a few flowers and crops, but an abundance in His generosity.

God's generosity though demands a response from each of us. The death of Jesus only has a meaning for us if we can respond, believe and follow Him.

How do you respond to God's abundance to you? The many blessing He has bestowed upon you in your life, those you love, your family, your friends?

How will you respond this Holy Week and Easter to the show of God's generous love for you by taking your place and suffering and dying that you might be forgiven?

He didn't have to do it, but out of His generous and abundant love for you He did it willingly.

Will you respond with the same generosity to Him?

Come and worship, come and give thanks, come and show God how thankful you are, this Easter time.

Come to Church.

Details of all Holy Week and Easter services.

Happy Easter.

Revd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Sunday 04 March 2018