Welcome to SMASCH Network
St Mary's and All Souls Churches (SMASCH) reach out to the world in lots of different ways. Here you will find links to all the various channels we use.
We will endeavour to stream services live on Rev Susan's twitter account @revsusan5.
The recordings will be available below.
Sunday 28th March
Sunday 21st March 10 am
5th Sunday of Lent
Sunday 14th March 10 am
4th Sunday of Lent
Sunday 7th March 10 am
3rd Sunday of Lent
The LiveStream link
Older Service Recordings can be found on our Network Archive page
Sunday 21st February 10 am
The First Sunday Of Lent
From the April 2021 Newsletter
The agony and the love
Many of the experiences that we have in life affect us and shape us as people in some way. Sometimes this can be a positive thing as we learn valuable lessons from difficult experiences that we have gone through, or are encouraged to develop our skills in some way by a positive or affirming experience we have had. At other times, the effects on people of different experiences that they go through appear to be entirely negative, as they become angry or bitter, or begin to get depressed and to feel that things will never work out.
It’s been said that life’s hard experiences can either make us or break us. They can either make us better or bitter, depending to a large extent on how we react. Some people who have suffered a lot seem to be quite overwhelmed and dragged down by it, but others show remarkable character and also at times an amazing cheerfulness in coping with the difficulties that they face.
One topic which I frequently find myself reflecting upon following
conversations or news articles is that of bullying whether physical bullying
or cyber bulling. The impact on those who suffer at the hands of bullies
can be immense yet listening to those who have lived through such events
can be humbling as the emphasis is often not on being a victim but rather
on how it is possible to overcome such adversity.
This seems quite pertinent to me as we rapidly approach Holy Week and Easter and are once again given a very special opportunity to fix our eyes on Jesus, as we follow Him on His journey to the cross, and then go on to celebrate His glorious resurrection on Easter Day. I always find it a very humbling time, as I remember all that Jesus went through and how much he was willing to suffer, to die on the cross for our sins. He responded to all the hatred and cruelty that He had to face, not with bitterness but with forgiveness and love.
The untrue accusations that He faced must have hurt Him deeply. The mockery and the abuse He faced must have been very hard to cope with. Anyone who has ever been bullied will know just how unpleasant that kind of mental cruelty is. And in addition to that Jesus faced the physical pain of being whipped and hung on a cross.
Yet that wasn’t all, for Jesus went through what I believe must have been the hardest experience – bearing our sins as He hung on the cross, enduring what felt like a separation from God the Father as He cried out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
But still as we look at the cross, we see that Jesus was not broken in spirit by His experiences. He didn’t respond to anger and hatred by Himself becoming bitter and angry. Instead, He just responded with forgiveness and love: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing” he prayed. Even as they continued to taunt Him. He didn’t want any harm to come to them; he wanted them to know God’s forgiveness and love.
Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who wasn’t destroyed as a person by life’s hardest experiences. Right until the end He continued to show love to all those who were around him. And of course His cruel death was followed by His glorious resurrection, as God showed that He is victorious over the power of sin and death and evil. Love wasn’t defeated at the cross. Love suffered and then triumphed, and the continued presence and power of the risen Jesus continues today to transform people’s lives.
During Lent we have been running the York course “On the Third Day”. Through it we have examined the resurrection of Christ, and what that means for both the believer and the Church. Is the resurrection almost forgotten about by Easter Monday? As Christians our answer should be a resounding No!
Jesus should be our role model, as well as our Lord and Saviour. When we are tempted to respond like for like when someone hurts us we should remember that Jesus shows us a different way.
This Easter then, let us pray that the hard things we face in life will simply
play a part in making us better, stronger, kinder people for when that
happens it’s a triumph for His love..
Let us live as Easter people, so that through us the peace and joy of the risen Christ is handed on to everyone.
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