I find the season of Spring an easier time to be hopeful than Autumn or Winter. Perhaps it’s the sunshine and the sight of all the plant-life waking up after what seems like an interminable absence. But it’s also the way that Easter reminds us that hope comes out of despair and life comes out of death.
In the news headlines will doubtless find some wonderful stories of life flourishing, of people doing wonderful things by coming together, of hope for the future. But news is never just good, and you will read plenty of sad stories too: stories of suffering and disappointment. For me, it’s in facing these ‘bad news stories’ (both in the press and in my own life) that Easter really helps me. Because the first Easter was a wonderful reminder that the death of a dream often leads to the birth of something even better. As Jesus’ friends watched him die, they were surely questioning whether they had wasted the last three years of their lives, and whether their belief and hope had all been for nothing. But on that first Easter Sunday they began to realise that something even more wonderful was happening. It would have been great if Jesus had stayed alive long enough to lead them to freedom from their oppressors. But a leader who can overturn death itself – well, that’s an altogether more amazing prospect!
So don’t be afraid to hope for even better good to come out of things that don’t go the way you want. To take a little example: the snow that hit us out of nowhere in March brought all sorts of complications and disruptions. But it also brought people together. It’s no exaggeration to say that the terrible weather gave birth to the community spirit that is now growing apace among Sherford’s first residents. A recent highlight was Sherford's first community quiz night, and more events are planned, including a street party later this month to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
Another example: I thought the world had come crashing down when I failed to get a place at my preferred university. But scraping into a different university on clearing is one of the best things that ever happened to me (including, as it did, meeting my wife!) Some of you may be feeling something akin to my own disappointment if your child didn’t get the Primary School place you were hoping for last month. But perhaps it will lead to them finding an even better future at another of the many wonderful schools with which we are blessed in this side of Plymouth. Dare I say it, perhaps even Sherford’s own brand new Primary School, Sherford Vale?
You may know that Sherford’s motto is, “Building Futures”, but the future being built may not resemble the one we think we want. It could be even better!
Sherford Community Church
Minister: Revd Tom Brassil
Tel: 01752 547492