Welcome to St. Bertoline's, Barthomley, Cheshire

Why we're here today -

That the community may know that St Bertoline's is here to profess the faith, to celebrate it

in worship and prayer, and to share it in fellowship, so that we may say

"We would see Jesus".

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The Rectory

March 18th 2016 Barthomley

My dear Friends,

Do you recall the excitement there was sixteen years ago about the impending millenium? Even the banks were on the verge of panic, dreading the possibility that all their systems would crash with the change from 1 to 2 and their software would not be able to cope. Millions of pounds were spent trying to avoid such a disaster.

Seven and seventy were numbers that caused great excitement and expectation among the Jews of Jesus’s time. The Jubilee of Jubilees, seventy times seven, magnified the anticipation. Peter asked Jesus whether he should forgive his brother seven times. ‘Not seven times, but seventy times seven’ was the reply. Among the Jews, all debts and obligations were waived at the seventh year. The Jubilee of Jubilees was when God would restore all things to their rightful place, all sins be wiped out and Israel restored to its full relationship with God.

John the Baptist was asked, ‘Are you the Messiah, or do we look for another?’ The question was asked because the Jubilee of Jubilees was calculated to be in the time of Jesus. The Jews were expecting the Messiah to come in their time. There were many false messiah’s around, cashing in on the general anticipation and heightened tension. Jesus warned against such. In 70AD there was such tension that the Jews rose up against their Roman occupiers, only to be savagely suppressed by Titus and Jerusalem destroyed.

Their expectations were correct as to time, but they had designed their own messiah around economic and nationalistic ideas about the great days of Israel’s distant past in the days of David and Solomon, seven centuries ago. Their hopes were so keyed up along these lines that they had no eyes to recognise the real Messiah when he came among them, ‘born not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.’

God’s Messiah was so very different from the Jewish expectation. The true Messiah was indeed to restore not only Israel but the human race.

To do so, not through man’s idea of triumph and prosperity, but through suffering and death, carrying the whole burden of human waywardness.

Many had been attracted by Jesus – the authoritative way he taught, his command over sickness, his hopeful message to the poor and downtrodden. Those who were skilled at playing the current system under Roman rule, the Sadducees and Herodians, were scared that Jesus was rocking the political boat. The patience of the crowds, so enthusiastic on Palm Sunday, was snapped by Jesus’s refusal to go along with their expectations of the messiah. ‘Hosanna’ quickly turned to ‘Crucify him.’

The victory of Jesus’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead on Easter Day was not what they were looking for, nor recognised, nor wanted.

Continued over

‘Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.’ (Romans 6 ; 3ff)

Best wishes to you all,

Darrel Speedy

Parish Records MJE 6/12/15
Parish News February 1/2/16, March 5/3/16 April 6/4/16
2015 Accounts & Music Ditector's report 11//2016