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The Journal

Easter Sunday AM

Dear Friends, The resurrection of Jesus recorded in Mark 16:1-8 changed the world. The women were given the first instalment of clear evidence that Jesus had risen from the dead - an empty tomb and the testimony of the angel. It is amazing that Mark gives them a place of prominence. The reason it is amazing is because in the ancient world the testimony of women was not considered reliable. So if Mark was making up this story he would have excluded women to make the story more plausible. But Mark didn’t make up the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead but just reported the facts. The woman as first witnesses speaks of the reliability of the Bible. We are also encouraged that the angel specifically told the disciples and Peter to go Galilee to meet Jesus. This is a word of grace because all the disciples had failed but Jesus is seeking them out to restore them. This is the great hope of the Gospel that God takes broken people like us and restores us and gives us a fresh start. The great hope of the Gospel is that our sins are forgiven and that the same power that rose Jesus from the dead is at work in us - Eph 1:19-20. God is powerfully at work in us and can change us whether that change is dramatic or whether it moves us from being self centred to other person centre. This too is a miracle. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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Evidence with integrity

Dear Friends, One month ago I thought zoom was a very fast car. But our lives have changed very rapidly. Above is the Thursday morning Bible study group doing Bible study by a social media app called Zoom. Thank the Lord people seeking to reach out to each other creatively. It is amazing that because of the resurrection of Jesus God’s Spirit has been poured out on all people and those who put their faith in Jesus receive the Spirit. Incredibly as we connect to Jesus we are spiritually connected to other people despite the lack of physical proximity. Our reading tonight is Luke 24:1-12 :- the women come to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body as was the burial custom. They were not expecting to find the resurrected Jesus nor an empty tomb. What is quite beautiful is the way that the Lord helps these women understand what has happened and come to faith. God does the same with us for He knows we are full of doubts and fears but He helps us to believe by providing the eyewitness accounts of the Gospels and giving us His Spirit who helps us to believe ! Peter also struggled to comprehend what had happened. They were not gullible but eventually they believed because the evidence was overwhelming. In 1 Cor 15 Jesus appeared to his disciples many times to convince them & us. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara  

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Forsaken for me so I could be accepted

Dear Friends, Our focus is on the Lord because He is our life. We remember on this Good Friday that Jesus came and died for people. People matter to God and people matter to us. One of the interesting phenomena that is coming out of this period of self-isolation is that people in our church have been ringing each other to see how others are coping. We thank the Lord for this increased care and support for one another albeit remotely ! Today the focus of the message is from Mark 14:22-26. Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples which looks back to God’s great deliverance for His people from slavery in Egypt. Jesus, as he shares the bread and the wine says that this is my body and blood. He is referring to His death on the cross and that this is a new act of deliverance from slavery :- Jesus delivers us from sin and death. We are encouraged that this salvation is totally the work of Jesus for us. In fact the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins as a sacrificial substitute reminds us to look to God and not ourselves. All love costs the giver something and this is beautifully displayed in Jesus’ death for us so we might enjoy His forgiveness. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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