Happy Easter from the CCF

As our thoughts turn to Easter and the chance of a break from the pressures of work and of politics, this period of rest and reflection will be a welcome one as we live through an historic period of uncertainty and turmoil.

Who knows what the future holds? The majority in the UK voted for Brexit, but a considerable number voted to remain, especially in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. Now that Article 50 has been invoked we face the challenge of entering negotiations and making vital decisions about the future direction of our country.

We are also faced by the challenge of terrorism at home, turmoil in Syria, hundreds of thousands of refugees around the globe and millions facing the risk of famine in East Africa - a situation exacerbated by violence in Somalia. Closer to home the Northern Ireland Assembly and the prospect of a second Scottish Independence referendum looms large.

We pray for our Government and in particular for Prime Minister Theresa May as she deals with these challenges with wisdom and careful discernment.

In the midst of such uncertainty both global and local it offers me comfort to think of the audacious and powerful truth of New Life and Hope found in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

On the 20th July 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man ever to walk on the moon. President Richard Nixon said "the greatest event in human history occurred when man first put his foot on the moon."

Another astronaut, James Irwin, thought otherwise. He said "the most significant achievement of our age is not that man stood on the moon, but rather that God in Christ stood upon the earth."

With Jesus death, His enemies were convinced that His cause was finished and that He would soon be forgotten.

But then something extraordinary happened.

Those who believed in Him were convinced that they had met Jesus, risen from the dead and were willing to risk their lives to spread that message.

They challenged Jesus enemies in public and proclaimed this Hope despite the persecution.

Acts Chapter 2 verse 24 tells us: “God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.”

This Easter, across this world, there are millions of people who will gather to worship Jesus. For Christians everywhere the resurrection is not a theory or a rumour but a key Christian celebration, a holiday and a Holy Day to celebrate New Life and fresh Hope.

I feel especially privileged that I will be able to spend this Easter in Jerusalem with my family where my prayer will be that our leaders find the time to rest and reflect this Easter period and return reinvigorated and renewed ready to tackle all that faces us as a Nation.

Despite all the challenges, no matter what may come across our path, the message of Easter is one of New Life and Hope. I pray that this message is one we can embody as we face these challenges together as a Party and a Country.