All Saints

Wickham Market

April 2024

April 7th

“Seeing is believing” is one of those quotes that is quite commonly used in the English language.  It’s meaning is fairly well understood and accepted.  But like a lot of other sayings, it is not entirely accurate.

For a start, I can see something on television or in a newspaper or even a scam email and just know that it isn’t really true.  I can watch a magic trick or an illusionist perform and just know that I am being deliberately deceived.  Or on the other side of the coin, there may be things that I certainly believe to be true but cannot see, like evaporation or the wind.  And what about people who can’t see at all because they are blind - do they have trouble believing anything?  Of course not!

In fact, even the quote itself is misleading because it is not the full quote, which actually reads: Seeing is believing, but feeling is the truth.”

The truth is, sometimes you know in your heart what is the right thing to believe, whether or not it is something you can see.  Faith is a bit like that and Jesus said that those who believe in Him without seeing are truly blessed.  Knowing that Jesus died for our sakes and was raised to life again is not something we are ever going to see with our own eyes (in this life) as ‘Doubting Thomas’ was able to do and it may be a hard fact to prove but something deep inside resonates with us that this is the truth.

One final thought, do we have to see something to believe it or do we see something because we believe it? ‘Doubting Thomas’ wanted to believe Jesus was alive and 8 days later he did see Jesus, with his own eyes.  We might not see Jesus yet but we know He is the truth and one day, because we believe that, we will see him face to face!


April 14th

After Church some Sundays, we have a ‘bring & share’ lunch.  You know the sort of thing, everyone brings something and we all share, and somehow there always seems to be enough to go round and there’s always a good selection.  Not being the best cook, and being rather disorganised when it comes to matters of food, I sometimes resort to bringing packets of crisps!

At this time of year, in particular, lunching together as Christians is significant, because we have just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus and one of the things Jesus loved to do was to share a meal with his disciples.  At least 2 of these occasions were recorded after he rose from the dead; it was as if to say, “I’m back and I’m real… see, I’m eating!”

On one of these appearances, Jesus caused the disciples to catch a huge haul of fish and as they brought it ashore, Jesus was already cooking breakfast on the beach.  “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught!” he shouted to them, “Now come and have some breakfast!” 

Jesus loved a ‘bring & share’ and what’s more, he still does!  He says to us: “bring me what you’ve got and I will make something of it.”  We may be tempted to think we don’t have much to offer, that we haven’t been blessed with a ‘huge haul’ of talent, or that our contribution to God’s work in the world feels a bit like ‘a packet of crisps’ at a banquet, but God just asks for our willingness to share what we have so that he can turn it into something wonderful!


April 21st

April is a funny month, when it arrives you know that you have survived the long, dark winter; it is the first full month of Spring and brings much promise.  The garden is coming alive and early bulbs and tree blossoms turn our thoughts to warmer weather, brighter days and hope for the summer. April can bring some glorious days but beware the cold wind and inevitable rain showers!  We’re longing for the weather to become a little more settled but it isn’t happening just yet!

I wonder if the disciples felt a bit as we do at this stage of the story?  They had just come through the dark winter of watching the arrest and brutal killing of Jesus which caused them to scatter in fear and confusion. But the resurrection of Jesus suddenly brought much promise!  For those 40 days following his coming alive again were glorious days - there was joy, hope and excitement.  The future finally looked a little more settled.

In our Bible passage for this Sunday though, Jesus is challenging his disciples; he is leaving again and charging them with tasks during his absence; he is even talking about what they should expect in terms of their own deaths! It could be said he was raining on their parade at this point - beware that cold wind!

The history of the Church from those early days has certainly shown it was not all sunshine and light.  Indeed our own experiences testify that the Christian life is not a garden of roses.  We have our share of stormy weather but the Bible tells us that our troubles are just for a season.  “Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” (Psalm 126:6) 

Summer is coming, we can be sure; when Jesus gathers his people in, there will be never-ending glorious days with not a rain cloud in sight!  What a hope!


April 28th


I read 2 things of interest this morning.  The first was a news item that quoted someone’s dissatisfaction with a governing body’s decision about something: “it beggars belief!” he said. Meaning that the decision was so outrageous (in his opinion) that one could scarcely believe it could be true, quite unbelievable and even undeserving of belief! (Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition)

Apparently the true meaning of beggar is to impoverish or make poor and is first found in use in the 16th Century.  In the 17th Century it is thought that it was William Shakespeare who first used it as a verb.   But the link to ‘belief’ as a phrase was not found until the 19th Century when John Whitley used it in his book “Completion of Prophecy” to describe the heathens” who didnt believe in the Bible!

Which brings me to the 2nd interesting thing I read this morning, the story in the Bible of Jesus giving sight to the blind beggar (Luke 18) and what does he say? “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” The reason I found this interesting was firstly we have the ‘beggar’ - the impoverished man - so poor he was forced to sit in the dust hoping someone would take pity on him and give him some food (being blind, he was unable to work).  But it goes on.  The people around him on that day disregard him and tell him to be quiet as he shouted for Jesus’ attention.  He believed in the power of Jesus to heal him but their attitude was that he was undeserving of belief. Beggars were low society! Yet his belief, his faith, was what healed him Jesus said.  Is this actually a better meaning, a truer and older meaning of the phrase ‘beggars belief’?

Whatever your situation, status or circumstances in life, however poor you may feel is your belief in Jesus, you are still deserving of God’s healing touch on your life, however unbelievable that may sound!

Powered by Church Edit