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My Story - by Phil Rogers (former Vicar of St John's)

It was coming to terms with the message of Easter that
changed my life.

I had always been interested in the supernatural: at Junior school it meant reading up on Greek and Roman myths; at Secondary school, I moved on to Norse mythology and from that to a study of the Occult.

By the time I was sixteen, I had read all the books I could find in the local library on magic and witchcraft, I’d got a card index of spells and was experimenting with ouija and astral travel - and I was thoroughly miserable. The more I knew, the more sad I grew.

I had a friend who was a Christian - he was the only person I knew who owned up to having a real faith.  He came round one Saturday night and said: “What do you know about Jesus?”

Now I thought of Jesus as being just about the same as Peter Pan or Robin Hood - a nice story, but nothing to do with me.

“What happened on Maundy Thursday?” my friend asked.
“Oh, I know that one,” I said, “Jesus and his disciples went into a room and had a meal together of bread and wine.” 
“Correct!” he said, “what about Good Friday?”
“That was when Jesus died on the Cross wasn’t it?” (Even I knew that much.) 
“So do you know why we call it Good Friday?”  “Nope.”

“And on Easter Day,” my persistent friend asked, “what happened then?”
“That was when Jesus came back to life again!” I heard myself say.  Funny feeling, here was I, seventeen years old and having the first conversation in my life about Jesus.  “So then,” he said, “what do you think He did then?”

“Beats me,” I said, “maybe He died again?”
“No! He’d already passed through death once, He wasn’t going that way again.”

So this time it was my turn to ask the question:
“Okay, so what did He do then?”  And that was when it happened.  Somebody dared tell me the Gospel.  “He carried on living,” my friend said, “He’s alive today.  You can’t climb your way up to Him, but He’s reaching down to you.  Put your hand in His and He’ll lead you into a new life.”

For me, hearing that was like a light going on in a dark room.  What I’d been looking for in all the wrong places was waiting for me - only it wasn’t a What, it was a Who.

I came to know Jesus, not just as a historical figure or a nice story, but as a living person.  He changed my life.  That was forty five years ago.