March 27th

Now that the Tyndale building – along with so many others – is completely closed, our weekly services will take a different form. Instead of me filmed standing at the lectern with the beautiful Tyndale backdrop behind, talking and singing (!) – there’ll be a service to watch on-line, with readings, prayers, a sermon, songs and hymns, but recorded – hopefully with pictures of Tyndale’s interior accompanying – and different voices.

So the church’s worship continues – other churches are doing it in ways that suit them; this is Tyndale’s way. As we move further into Lent, towards Holy Week, a cross-centred faith moves centre-stage. Christian reflection mines rich resources from the story of Jesus’ demise – a death for the world, indeed. Words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer come to mind, “only a suffering God can help”.

As the world – and we with it – continues to suffer the economic, health, social and mental consequences of the coronavirus we are called to proclaim the good news of a God who comes alongside us in our suffering, and endures it with us.

But other Christian words are important, too: “the death that transforms all death” – they are easy words to say, but never perhaps have they been so needed. The challenge to us will be to proclaim good news that doesn’t end at the cross but leaps free of all deathly constraints as Jesus rises again. The message will be more challenging this year than for many a long year, but it will be ever more needed – in infamous words from a different political context, Easter is, indeed, a “beautiful time”.

Michael Docker