Glasgow Road , Paisley PA1 3PA
Telephone: 0141-889 7060
e-mail: Church Office
Scottish Charity No: SC007484
SHERWOOD GREENLAW CHURCH
LETTER FROM THE MANSE
Sports fans like to celebrate a victory. St Mirren fans will remember lining the streets of Paisley to welcome their heroes home after winning the Scottish League Cup in 2013. Dunblane, welcomed home grown tennis star, Andy Murray, following his first Wimbledon Championship in the same year. Scottish football fans were once remembered for the famous Hampden roar, (that perhaps has not been heard all that often in recent years!). Sport fans are fickle enough to cheer and applaud their heroes when they are winning, but can quickly turn against them when they hit a bad streak and lose more often than they win.
Everyone likes a winner, a champion, a hero that they can look up to, idolise, or admire. My hero was Roddy McKenzie, a former goalkeeper with Airdrie and Northern Ireland, who once shook my hand, and I refused to wash it for a week!
At the beginning of Holy Week, the day we now call Palm Sunday, the crowds came out in their thousands to welcome Jesus. He was not carrying any trophy he had won, nor was he wearing a championship medal around his neck. The crowds were cheering because they believed in the potential of Jesus. He had healed some of their sick, raised the dead, fed the poor, stood up for justice, released the captives, and helped the blind to see. This was their superstar, their super hope, that he might be the one to free them from the bind of Roman occupation, and to liberate them from the religious leaders who burdened them with rules and regulations, that made God more like an accountant, balancing the good against the bad, rather than the loving and generous Father, that Jesus presented to his people.
Of course, his opponents tried to silence the crowds. They even asked Jesus to tell them to be quite and he said: “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40).
What a strange saying, “The stones will cry out?” As the rest of the week unfolds, the adulation and the support turned against him, and the crowds who days before cheered Jesus were chanting crucify him, for his failure to deliver on their expectations. He is arrested, sentenced to death, nailed to the cross, and then laid in a stone covered tomb. The one they pinned their hopes on is forgotten, ignored, and ridiculed.
Three days later the Stones cry out. They rumble away from the entrance to the tomb, and to the horror of religious leaders and the Roman authorities the tomb is empty, and what’s more there are rumours spreading around the city of Jerusalem that Jesus is not dead but alive. Eye witness reports begin to confirm that Jesus is alive. The mood of despair changes to victory once more, and quickly everyone is talking about Jesus, believing again that he is indeed the Messiah they longed for.
As the Christian Community, we continue to believe that Jesus is a winner. A winner over death, a winner over hatred, a winner over despair, a winner over darkness, a winner over sin. He cannot be silenced no matter how hard his critics try. Perhaps we have a lot more to shout about than we thought we did!
Have a Happy Easter
SERVICE OF DAILY PRAYER
I presented people with a Lenten challenge to join me on a Journey of Prayer throughout Lent, to stimulate a rhythm of prayer with God and to enable us to grow spiritually.
Many have chosen to join the journey, and get into the rhythm, and a healthy attendance of between 15-25 each day have come along and shared in the worship. We continue that journey until Easter Sunday, and I want to thank everyone who has helped to lead the services, and who have come along each day.
Others have taken the prayer booklets and used them at home. My prayer is that the congregation will be blessed and the Kingdom of God will continue to be proclaimed.