Acts 9:36-43 Revelation 7:9-17 John 10:22-30
The Acts of the Apostles describes how the mission of the Chur ch in Jer usalem, announcing the Resurr ection of Jesus and accompanied by miracles of healing, was first extended by Peter and others among its leadership to neighbouring towns and countr yside. The good news was brought at first to the Jewish and Greek believers who worshipped in the synagogues and spread rapidly as repor ts began to circulate throughout the population of large towns such as Joppa, where Tabitha or Dorcas was well known, and everyone could see for themselves that she was now very much alive, thanks to the ministr y of Peter and the gospel of the risen Lord which he proclaimed among them. It is the clearest possible sign of the authority given to the Church to proclaim the good news throughout Israel and to all the nations, and of the authenticity of the message carried by the apostles. The names of Tabitha and Simon the Tanner are recorded so that everyone who knew them could hear what had happened from living witnesses to this miraculous event.
On the day of the Resurr ection the company of those who believed in the risen Lor d was tiny, but within a very short space of time, empowered by faith in Christ and by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ brought salvation to many who came to believe in him through God’s free gift of grace, glorifying not only Israel but those whom God has called to himself from all the nations of the earth. In John’s great vision of the day of the Lord’s coming, the first to be marked with the seal of salvation are those who belong to the twelve tribes of Isra el, called by God fr om of old. But the gathering of souls in the pr esence of God is extended far and wide to the ends of the ear th and throughout the ages, embracing alike both Israel and all who have been saved f rom ever y nation on earth, all bearing palm branches and r obed in white as martyrs who have been purified by the blood of the Lamb of God. Ther e are no longer any human boundaries or distinctions between them, as all ar e gathered together in the temple where they worship God day and night under his eternal protection. Whatever suf fering they have endured in this life they ar e now assured forever of the love of the Lamb who is also the good shepherd, who comes to meet each one and wipes away the tears from their eyes.
Jesus gave many signs of his identity in the course of his teaching and in the miraculous events that accompanied his ministr y, above all in the Resur r ection itself. These signs bear witness that he is the Messiah, but they r emain signs and not conclusive proofs of the kind that continue to be demanded by those who choose not to believe in him. Many were fed at the miracle of the loaves and fishes, but for most it meant no more than a meal at which they satisfied their hunger. Even those who held high office in the temple came demanding answers, wanting Jesus to convince them, to compel them, although he had alr eady provided ample evidence that his ministr y came from the Father, evidence that they chose not to believe. Jesus does not teach a set of propositions to which we must give our assent, or pr ovide irr efutable “scientific” proofs that he is the Son of God. Instead he invites us to hear the wor d of God in his teaching and in the signs that he gives, so that we may believe that he is the One whom God has sent. It is by faith that God calls us and saves us and gathers us into his sheepfold, guiding us according to the 2011 Cento springs of the water of life. sus. The Rev Stephen Tr ott here aree they from? In the last 10 years, 700,000 people have emigrated from India, almost 600,000 from Poland (though over half of these have now returned), 500,000 have come from Pakistan and 400,000 from Ireland.
One of the factors that Government actuaries have to take into consideration as they assess the future
H ymns for Easter 4 Take my life and let it be Breath on me, breath of God Let all mortal flesh keep silence Shall we gather at the river Blessed assurance
Only by grace I am the bread of life Now is eternal life Jesus, stand among us Loving shepherd of thy sheep their religion. When this was last done, the results showed that a third (31 per cent) were Christian adherents and a quar ter (24 per cent) were Muslim. As the numbers are so great, however, for the minority religions these numbers begin to make a real difference.
Between 2001 and 2011 the Muslim population increased in England by 1.1 million people. At least half of this was due to immigra-
Number of Immigrants to and Emigrants from
Britain, 1991 to 2011