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Viewpoint from Rev Dan Waite 22/04/11

Rev Dan Waite
Associate Vicar, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth
Overheard in a card shop, a teenage girl trying to choose an Easter card with her mother, complained, “Oh no mum, don’t send a religious card. They are bad enough at Christmas". This same youngster goes home and switches on TV to watch her favourite soap. She avidly watches the everyday life of everyday people, with their personal relationships and everyday problems
 Dove right
Many people often feel that religion has nothing to with our everyday lives. Somehow we have forgotten the fact that God is a God of the ordinary who is concerned with the everyday life of everyday people. Our God wants a close personal relationship with each one of us. Our God wants to be involved with every problem, every action in our lives. He doesn’t want to guide us in a religious way through a set of rules, but to draw us into a relationship in which he can guide us for our own good
Easter isn’t just about wishing someone a happy short holiday weekend, but it is about remembering and thanking God for the most significant event in the history of mankind since creation
In every good soap opera it’s easy to identify many of the problems of suffering and evil in our world because they make the best storylines. It’s easy to point the finger at these stories and say, ‘that is the problem with the world today’. Yet often the problem is much dove leftcloser to home. The problem can be in our own hearts. Jesus the Son of God who was born as a human baby in Bethlehem, and grew up to be the Saviour of the world, said, “From the inside, from a person’s heart, comes the evil ideas which lead him to do ... all sorts of evil”. It is not just that we occasionally do wrong things (sin) but there is a deeper problem inside each one of us
Our sinful ways, often clearly shown in the stories of the soaps, are a barrier between us and a Holy God. But when Jesus died on the cross and rose from death on Easter morning, God did a work through him, in which Jesus took all our sin and exchanged it for God’s goodness, so that when we put our trust personally in Jesus Christ, we can know the benefits of this exchange, forgiveness of our sins and eternal life
The Bible can often read just like a soap opera. Why not read the story of Easter in the bible this weekend and see for yourself how Jesus was ... betrayed by a close friend ... surrendered to the whim of a mob ... rejected by his best friend, not once but three times ... and went on to suffer death by crucifixion, possibly the most horrendous form of execution devised by man. I can almost hear the Eastenders’ theme tune now! But the story of Jesus does not end in death on the cross because on the third day God raised him back to life triumphant over sin and death
That is the message we will be celebrating in churches across our region. Why not come and join us