Dear congregation,                                                                                           26 April 2017
AzaleaI love this time of year. It is wonderful to see so many flowers showing their created beauty. I am so in awe of the wonderful and mighty creation of God and the hope that He gave us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is indeed the Creator of all things and the Giver of Faith, Hope and Love. It reminds me, of course, of the difference between God and us, between God and His creation. We have a beginning while God has no beginning. We are finite. He is infinite.

No wonder the biblical writer (Ecclesiastes 3) wrote, a long time ago, that there is a time/season for everything on earth. Yet God has NO time limitation. He will exist beyond the constraints of time and seasons. There is a time for everything – “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” The daffodils and tulips will soon make way for other plants – “a time to plant and a time to uproot”. It is also true of relationships. There is a time for the start of new relationships and the end of others. There is “a time to tear down and a time to build”. When reading chapter 3 from Ecclesiastes, you cannot help but feel a bit depressed. But we need to be reminded, too, of God’s new creation in and through Jesus Christ. In and through Jesus, God
made sure that we have a new choice. If we believe in Jesus – in His salvation and redemption, in His resurrection and ascension we, too, will inherit after this life a new life. We will not die, but live with God in His kingdom for ever, where time does not exist. Indeed, there is now a new time, a time where God mends the broken relationship between Him and us.

Although we are still bounded by time and seasons, we know that, through Jesus’s resurrection and ascension, there is another existence waiting for us, after life on this earth.

So we need to have hope in the time to come, where there will be no time, no more crying or pain. We need to enjoy our short time on earth and do what the writer of Ecclesiastes suggested a long time ago, when he wrote: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” We can be happy in the knowledge that, in and through Jesus Christ, we belong to God. We have the ability – because of our faith, living hope and the love of God – to do good, everywhere we go. May God’s Spirit help us to change the lives of people for
the better at this time!

All my best wishes,
Your minister, André Groenewald.