Messages from around the Benefice

Good Friday. message from Lyndon
Will they survey the wondrous cross? I was asked by my friend Rev Justin Groves, if I would “help out” with services in St. Stephens’s Church. Last year on Good Friday, I was officiating there over Holy Week and Easter. St. Stephens is easy to find. Go to Newport, head for the Transportation Bridge, and just walk across the road. When I arrived, quite early, I was greeted by Mary, our friend for many years, who had been preparing the church. Cynth was waiting for John, a fellow Lay Reader, both of whom were assisting me at all the services. In the churchyard was a large Good Friday cross, I think there is a new one there now. I wondered what the reaction would be of any passer by. I sat near the cross to view public response. Many people walked past, young and old, but not one appeared to notice this huge addition to the church. No one even turned their head; it was as if the cross was invisible. I was there for awhile, and was about to enter the church, when a man crossed the road, came near to the cross, waved and shouted “Have a good Good Friday vicar”. I thanked the Muslim gentleman, before returning to commence the service.

Jesus is now in Gethsemane, He was suffering great anguish, over His approaching punishment and His separation from the Father. God’s plan was put into action, there was no turning back. Jesus prays “‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39. Jesus asks the apostles to keep Him company, but they are asleep. Judas arrives with a large armed crowd, to arrest Jesus. Judas seals his betrayal with a kiss. Jesus is arrested, and taken to Caiaphas the high priest, and the Jewish supreme council, where false accusations are told against him. They accuse Jesus of blasphemy, they then spit in His face and beat him with their fists. Meanwhile Peter who is sitting in a courtyard, fulfils the prophecy of Jesus, that he would disown Him three times. Judas, realises what he has done, he is remorseful. Judas hangs himself.
Jesus is taken to the Roman Governor, Pilate, and later Herod, who robes Jesus in a royal garment. Neither, can find any guilt in Jesus. Pilate finds a way out, of his predicament. He asks the crowd, whom they wished to be released. They shout for Barabbas, who was accused of sedition and murder. Pilate proclaims Jesus innocent but because of the call of the crowd condemns him to death. An innocent man is given the death penalty. Jesus will be murdered. Pilate orders his soldiers to whip Jesus. The whip is pronged with lead tips, and Jesus is believed to receive thirty nine lashes. The soldiers placed a scarlet robe on him, the colour of royalty, a reed in his hand, as a royal sceptre and a crown of thorns on his head. This is the royal coronation of the Christ. They beat his head with sticks and take Jesus to be crucified.
Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one of whom asked for forgiveness. Above His head was placed a sign proclaiming Him a king. The carpenter from Nazareth was murdered by the tools of His trade, hammer and nails. Jesus was on the cross whilst His mother and friends looked on. Instead of water, He was given vinegar to drink, His clothes were divided amongst the soldiers. On the cross He forgave them. At His death, the earth shook with an earthquake, the Temple curtain was torn apart, and a soldier exclaimed
“Surely he was the Son Of God” Matthew 27:54.
The death of Jesus was God’s plan to save humanity. The crowd go home and Satan smiles, he senses victory. However, the story is not quite over yet ………….
God Bless, keep praying, keep trusting keep safe.

Thank you Lyndon, I’ve been reflecting on the wonderful services we have shared in the past throughout Holy Week. I have found comfort in the hope and belief that we will all come through this struggle united and stronger in our faith.
Keep posting.
Every Blessing.
Ann Reynolds🙏

Thankyou Lyndon,. very special. Ann Scaife

Thank you Lyndon Harrison keep posting – your news feeds are thought provoking xx Mandy East

call to prayer-received a by Member of the congregation

Dear Friends

On the first Thursday that we stood on our doorsteps clapping the NHS, I had a sense in my spirit that we should be out there praying. On Saturday, one of my leaders, June told me that she had had a similar dream -with a million people worldwide praying. We decided to contact some church leaders, On Monday, I received a letter (see below) from a member of the congregation who had had the same thoughts. So, please will you pass this on via social media/phone to as many people/churches as you can and ask them to pass it on too. And let’s pray.

Blessings

P

I was thinking how last night millions stood at their doors and windows clapping for all those on the front line, and how wonderful it felt hearing & being a part of this.

How wonderful and amazing would it be if we can get billions of people around the world on Good Friday 10th April at midday-12pm– to stop whatever we are doing go outside or where ever you are and say or sing the Lord’s Prayer out loud this can be followed by a short personal prayer this can be loud or quiet.

This is not just for Christians but everybody whatever your beliefs are, you may have never said a prayer in your life, you may not have any idea if there is anyone out there to pray to or not. If there has ever been a time to find out or just to pray then it’s now.

Let’s pray for all those in every Country; in memory of those that have lost their battle and for their loved ones, for all those that are fighting for their lives right now, for all those that are risking their own lives to save others, all those in isolation and away from loved ones and those that just need a hug right now, pray for our leaders to strengthen them and that they will make the right decisions, let’s forget what party we support or The country we are in, let’s stand together united with love for one another and say the Lord’s Prayer together.