ANGLIA GOOD NEWS

from the Ipswich Christadelphians

April 2019

 "When in April the sweet showers fall

And pierce the drought of March to the root, and all

 

The veins are bathed in liquor of such power

To bring about the engendering of the flower"

Spring is here!chaucer

The opening of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, familiar to all students of English, captures the delight of an English Spring. This lovely, hopeful period of the year has inspired poets and artists of every generation – Wordsworth's daffodils, Gerard Manley Hopkins's celebration of the season - Nothing is so beautiful as spring. When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush.

daffsMarch can be a tricky month, and April too - T S Eliot in the Wasteland observed that "April is the cruellest month", but surely no human heart can fail to be moved by the return of life to nature, the spring flowers bursting forth, the trees leafing up to that delicate variety of hues that will never be repeated during the rest of the year, with the promise of the warmer days to come.

Chaucer's pilgrims, telling their tales, were travelling to Canterbury in the springtime of the year to pay their respects to the memory of Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered for opposing the restrictions of King Henry II on the rights and privileges of the church. But the Jesuit poet Hopkins' "Nothing is so beautiful as spring" was a heartfelt outpouring of regret at the Fall in Eden and the mess mankind has made of this fair earth ever since.

The Song of Solomon

habNeither Chaucer nor Hopkins though, gets anywhere near the simple and sublime beauty of the Word of God in the Song of Solomon – chapter 2:11-12 "For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land."

The Song of Solomon is a celebration of the love of God for His people, for those who worship the Creator, who love his Word. The Song also looks forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will establish God's just and righteous Kingdom on earth – when it will be like the most glorious and perfect spring day.

A world in turmoilsyria

But today, wherever we look, the world is in turmoil. The Middle East - Syria, Iran, Iraq, the Gulf States at odds with each other, Europe coping with the influx of migrants and asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb, Russia turning in on itself, becoming increasingly bellicose against the West. Add to this the reality of global warming, rising seas levels and the degradation of our vital forests, which are struggling to maintain vital oxygen levels. Not to mention the rising level of crime world-wide...hard to see any sign of good news anywhere today.

tree

The Good News of the coming Kingdom of God

In the Bible we find really Good News – the return of Jesus and the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth. Not long before his crucifixion, Jesus's disciples asked when they should expect the Kingdom to come. He told them that first there would be "great distress upon the earth (Luke 21:23) ...nations in perplexity...the sea and the waves roaring" (v25) – a vivid evocation of just the kind of world we live it. When you see all this, Jesus said "your redemption is drawing near"(v28).

He likens these events, dark though they are, to Spring, the harbinger of Summer – "look at the fig tree he says, and all the trees as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near." (Luke 21:29-30)figs

So during this springtime, that loveliest of seasons, as you look about you in the gardens, parks and woodland, as nature comes to life, you can be assured that however dark and threatening the world seems now, God is in control – He says, "my words will not pass away" (v33). Good News indeed!


 

 

Our Bible Hour is on Sundays at 10am at Castle Hill Community Centre, Highfield Road, Ipswich, IP1 6DG.

Here’s our programme for April to June, God willing:

 

7 April              Bible Basics: Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God

 

14 April            Promises in the Bible – to the Children of Israel at Sinai

 

21 April            The resurrection of Jesus – what it means to you

 

28 April            What’s to stop me being baptised? (Acts 8)

 

5 May              Bible Basics: the purpose and promises of God

 

12 May            The Bible – how to study it

 

19 May            The Bible – how to live by it

 

26 May            The harmonious Bible

 

2 June             Bible Basics: man – mortal, but promised everlasting                       life

 

9 June             Do Christians need priests?

 

16 June           Does God hear prayer?

 

23 June           The Jews – God’s living proof

 

30 June           Christian discipleship

 

 

We welcome comments, feedback and questions.  Contact us via our website: www.ipswichchristadelphians.info, or write to: Ipswich Christadelphians, FREEPOST RTJU-SYAE-LZTA, 28 Westland, IPSWICH, IP5 3SU, or phone 07419 837115

 

We welcome comments, feedback and questions.  Contact us via our website: www.ipswichchristadelphians.info, or write to: Ipswich Christadelphians, FREEPOST RTJU-SYAE-LZTA, 28 Westland, IPSWICH, IP5 3SU, or phone 07419 837115