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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

10 May 2013: Peter Belton, St. Mary Magdalen Church, Sheet

God's Plans

Easter has passed for another year and we look toward Pentecost, the Jewish celebration of first fruits. But perhaps the Easter story looks forward ...

Jesus, on the Cross, cried out "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" He often quotes from the scriptures in a way which refers to further content and context. His quote is Psalm 22, which moves from desolation to praise and thanks for God's blessings. We know that the psalm is taken as a prophecy for the manner of Jesus' dying. Later, the psalm moves to trust and praise of God's blessings.

We are told that God initiated Jesus' conception, but His end too? The manner of His death and the way His clothes were handled, is fore tolled. He is aware of strong spiritual forces which are seeking to destroy "something of God". The psalm looks towards the Emmaus Road appearance. In the pouring out of water we see the significance of life-giving water. The word "pouring" is deliberate. He chose to give His life. It was not taken from Him.

The psalm finishes with great praise and worship of God: ending with the exclamation "It is finished!". If we consider the "dying" text to be prophetic, perhaps we should also see the context of His last words might include an understanding of His purpose, future events, trust in the love, faithfulness, power and intention of the Father for Him, and for all creation... Despite our failures. "HE'S DONE IT!" It's all in God's plan to love and bless His creation.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 10 May; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

Read about the Saying Goodbye Service in Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 11 May

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