So, I’m going to let you into a secret.  Today is my Birthday, but I am certainly not going to say how old I am. When I was growing up Birthdays were always celebrated with a party, presents and friends, and of course family. Sometimes as we get older we perhaps might think that we should not celebrate our Birthdays. But I wonder whether that is because we have lost the real sense of celebration in our lives.

When we witness the miracle of a new baby being born, for that moment, we are reminded of how amazing each human being is, how intricately we are formed as we celebrate this new little individual. In Psalm 139 the psalmist reminds each of us that God created our inmost being and knit us, as individuals, together in our mother’s womb. No wonder we have a sense of awe when we see a newborn.  It reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by our loving God, and so there is the celebration of the new birth intertwined with a desire to thank God.

How much more then should we thank Him for the amazing gift of His son, who too was born among us as a baby. Right from the moment of His birth, the cross was in sight, it was always part of the plan. The true celebration of Jesus’ birth lies on the Easter Sunday side of the cross, He is alive!

Because of this we can know his resurrection life in us each day. That does not mean we are not real about the tough stuff we have to go through, as only by going through things and facing them can we come out the other side to the resurrection life that Jesus offers. The challenge is to live in the light of His resurrection. Each day we are called to lay down those things that would hold us back, to let them die…..we all know what those things are…wanting our own way, resisting change, getting angry, feeling hurt, not wanting to forgive…..the list can be long, but the Good News is that as we lay them down again and again we can experience more of this resurrection life that Jesus offers us.

As we celebrate during these 50 days the legacy of the last 50 years at All Saints, let’s remember to celebrate each time people served this community, church and town with selfless, forgiving and abundant Christ centred love. That is what we are building on for the next 50 years, a firm foundation of the love of Christ, His resurrection life which leads us into joyous celebration. Alleluiah.

Revd Pippa Ford

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