New bridges are a common theme in Sutton Coldfield at the moment. The highway authority is rebuilding the Plants Brook bridge beneath Lower Queen Street. Network Rail are rebuilding the bridge carrying the Sutton Park line over Rectory Road.
A key moment in the rebuilding of the Rectory Road bridge came on Easter Sunday morning, a hefty mobile crane lifted the new structure into position. That morning the team of workers witnessed the Easter sunrise along with those who participated in the Son Rise worship at Wheatmoor Farm - but for rather different reasons.
With all this renewing of bridges coming at Easter time, I am reminded of the ultimate bridge-builder, God, and the bridge he built on the first Easter morning. Throughout history God had willed what was best for humanity; but humanity had proved itself incapable of following that will, of fulfilling its potential.
Humanity simply was not up to the task. Humanity required God's grace to bridge the gap between God's will and human action. And so God sent Jesus to show us the way - crucified by human sin, but raised by God's grace.
Bridges are designed for the loads they need to carry – as an engineer, understanding the loads, the strength of materials and the design of the structure to enable the one to bear the other is my trade. The good news about the bridge is that God's grace is able to bear all our loads.
“Come unto me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” Jesus proclaimed. No-one is excluded from this relief; no burden is too heavy, too dark, too awful for the bridge of God's grace to withstand.
As Christians –whether or not the country about us is Christian – let us live out the truth and freedom of those words of Jesus, and in doing so proclaim it to the communities in which we live. Christ is risen: Christ is risen indeed, alleluia!
Tim, St. Chad's