April 2014

Christ is Risen!

Thine be the glory, Oh resurrected One!
Thine be the victory, for eternity!
Shining with the light, the angel descended,
He rolled the stone from the conquered grave.
Thine be the glory, Oh resurrected One!
Thine be the victory, for eternity!

Watch Him coming, it's Him, it's Jesus,
Your Saviour, your Master, Oh doubt no more!
Rejoice, people of the Lord,
And repeat without ending: Christ its Conqueror!
Thine be the glory, Oh resurrected One!
Thine be the victory, for eternity!

Shall I still fear? He lives forever,
It is Him whom I adore, the Prince of Peace;
He is my Victory, my mighty Reliance
My Life and my Glory: no I fear nothing!
Thine be the glory, Oh resurrected One!
Thine be the victory, for eternity!

The popular Easter hymn 'Thine be the Glory' was written by Swiss hymn writer Edmond Budry. The original version was written in French; this is a direct translation of the words into English written in 1925 by Richard Hoyle.

Holy Week and Easter Services at Fareham United Reformed Church

Monday 14th April
7.30pm - Lent Bible Study with a time for reflection

Tuesday 15th April
7.30pm - Holy Week Meditation

Wednesday 16th April
7.30pm - Holy Week Meditation

Maundy Thursday 17th April
7.30pm - Service of Holy Communion led by Revd Paul Bedford with music from the Choir

Good Friday 18th April
10.30am - Open air worship with Christians Together in Fareham at the Podium in West Street
7.30pm - Service of Reflection led by Revd Paul Bedford

Easter Sunday 20th April
8.15am - Service of Holy Communion led by Revd Paul Bedford
9.00am - Easter Breakfast
10.30am - Easter Day Praise led by Gill Bailey, including bringing the Easter tree to life with flowers

A path laid by God's own tears...

A path laid by God's own tears... this phrase commences the first song of 'Burning Questions' - a Christian revue we are staging on the evening of Saturday 24th May. I hope you have it in your diaries and will join us for a light-hearted but thought-provoking evening of sketches interspersed with songs sung by the choir.

The first song is 'It's a long way back to Eden from here'. We are realise that all too well as we look to complete our Lenten journey and experience the deep events of Holy Week, before arriving with joy at the Day of Resurrection.

Throughout our lives we should have our eyes fixed on Jesus 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith who, for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God' (Hebrews 12 v2).

Jesus, who scripture says was the one through whom God created and sustains the universe, revisited his creation to try to restore it to God - God's own Eden Project. Notably, in that last week of Jesus' earthly life, it was 'a path laid by God's own tears'.

Jesus showed us what faith is. It is not a syllabus for us to swat up on ready for a viva exam with the Grim Reaper. It is a relationship which, as with all relationships, takes working on and gets deeper and richer as life goes by.

Jesus lived his life in a way we do well to emulate. But faith is more than following an exemplar, for that again smacks of swatting up - this time using practical observation rather than with our nose in the Good Book. A blueprint for the life of faith that he was living out and offered to all who would listen.

But in the end he had to reveal how broken was the heart of God by taking the path of God's own tears, all the way to the Cross. Thus ended Part One of the two-part history of the world.

Jesus had lived the life and showed us that faith is a relationship with God and that 'nothing in death or life, in the realm of spirits or superhuman powers, in the world as it is, or the world as it shall be, in the forces of the universe, in heights or depths - nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God we have seen in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8 v16).

I hope you have a memorable and meaningful Holy Week and Easter.

Yours, because His


Revd Paul Bedford