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Happy Easter! 

As I listen to people, my perception is that the Christian festivals at the heart of Easter are even further from people’s awareness than those underlying Christmas. But our chocolate eggs, bunnies and spring flowers all point to the celebration of new life. This new life isn’t about Spring - half of the world doesn’t celebrate Easter in the spring, but in the autumn! This celebration of new life is founded on Jesus’ new life - the resurrection - after his cruel death on a cross.

6 weeks’ ago I had the privilege of re-visiting what’s often called, “The Holy Land” - Israel and Palestine - a beautiful, fascinating, historic land, visiting the sites of Biblical events, and being challenged by the painful complexities of today.

The places we hear of at Christmas and Easter: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Garden of Gethsemane, Galilee… they’re real places which I’ve visited. The people we hear of at Christmas and Easter: Mary, Joseph, Pontius Pilate, King Herod, Jesus… they’re real people who lived in these real places.  

Bible stories aren’t made-up fairy-stories. They involve real people, places, and events, many also recorded by other contemporary writers. Jesus really did die, crucified on a cross, a common form of Roman execution; I believe Jesus also really did receive new life, as we celebrate with eggs and bunnies, and there is evidence supporting this. If you’re someone who likes to look at facts and proofs, and would like to unpack the historical reality of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, please do get in touch.

Rev Julia

April 2017