Bishop Cyril Ashton - April 2020


It’s simple...don’t be afraid.

Fear is a universal reality, fear of death, fear of sickness,

unemployment, change of personal circumstances and many other things. People can be so concerned about the mistakes they have made in the past and fearful of the future that they do not enjoy living in the present. When we read the bible it is amazing how many times we are told not to be afraid. In the Christmas and Easter narratives it is the message given by the angels. At the birth of Jesus the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary saying, “don’t be afraid.” When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on Easter morning to discover that Jesus was not there an angel stood with her and said, “don’t be afraid....he is not here, for he has been raised.”

At significant moments angels appear and their message is clear...”don’t be afraid.” Whatever it is we may be facing the glorious truth is that Jesus rose from the dead to accompany us on our journey. That is the wonderful Easter reality, we are not on our own. Whatever may come our way Jesus meets with us and walks with us, strengthening and encouraging us to continue. I heard the story of someone who was ready to throw the towel in but God threw it back and said, “get up, wipe your face you are almost there.”

It is said of Michelangelo that he would take a block of marble and chip away until the angel appeared. I have spoken to people who are very clear that at a critical moment someone appeared unexpectedly to help. They were convinced it was an angel in human form given to rescue and comfort them.

This Easter could we all make it a priority to “be an angel” to others. By words of kindness, reassurance and generosity help to take away fear and enable people to live as Christ intends. A life without fear.

Bishop Cyril Ashton