Someone once wrote “Totally without hope one cannot live”. To live without hope is to cease to live and I believe there is a great deal of truth in these words. In the difficult and often confusing world in which we live today, hope for many people is something that seems in short supply. In fact I would even go so far as to say that in a world of pain, grief and sorrow, of complex family relationships of problems at work ,alongside many other hardships of life causing sadness, loneliness and depression –hope for many people has died a death.
Easter is upon us once more and nothing brings hope back to life like Easter. For the Easter Message gives us hope in a bewildering world and hope to face the uncertainties of the future. I cannot fully explain all that happened on that first Easter Day in this short article, but the simple fact is that there is something magnificent and reassuring about Easter—HOPE— and this hope in the resurrected Christ silences the empty message of sceptics and cynics alike.
The evidence of the resurrected Christ can be found in the testimony of many thousands of people who have lived their lives transformed by the presence of Jesus through a personal trust and faith in him. This hope can be with us every morning of our life, particularly at a time when Coronavirus has brought tragedy, fear and uncertainty within our lives. We will overcome with hope in Jesus.
As well as the Easter Story bringing hope, it brings all Christians a responsibility. We should emulate qualities that Jesus demonstrated, in our relationships with each other inside and beyond the church.
To restore hope is to restore faith in Christ our Lord
“I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live and whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11 v25).
Live in Hope.
In Matthew 6:16 – 18 we hear Jesus talking about fasting. To roughly paraphrase verses 16 to 18, he tells his disciples that when they fast they should not show it to the outside world by looking pained and being obvious about it but rather to do it discreetly and with a good demeanour. Nowadays … Continue reading Lent – A time for Commitment and Discipline
On 9th February the Housegroup will be leading worship based around some parables of Jesus. If you were asked about bits of the bible you can remember, I am fairly confident some of the words, phrases or stories would relate to parables – the sower casting seed, the Good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the lost … Continue reading Parables
Happy New Year! We say that to each other and we really mean it – and those good wishes come knowing that the person we are talking or writing to feels the same way towards us. So giver and receiver get a morale boost. There’s another opportunity around birthdays – and even a smile and … Continue reading Happy New Year
On the 8th December the Parade and Toy Service will be combined with Messy Church and will take the form of a Christingle Service. The idea of Christingles came from a Moravian Church in Germany in 1747. The minister, John de Watteville, gave children at the service a lighted candle with a red ribbon around … Continue reading Christingles
In my current professional guise, I get to work with quite a few charities, helping them with strategy, governance, evaluating their impact and sometimes getting stuck in as a frontline volunteer myself. Over the last year, I’ve worked with charities in areas as diverse as foodbanks, community gardens, science education in schools, prisoner rehabilitation, homelessness … Continue reading Community
A good number of people turned up in mid-August to the two discussion sessions about the ‘Scoping Document’. It was sent to the small scoping group who will come to meet us (and then Elmers End Free Church) on Monday 30 September. Reminder: ‘scoping’ means how much ministry we will get when the vacancy is … Continue reading A Time of Reflection
Our calendar year may start on 1st January but for me September always feels more like a new start as the academic year begins. I realise that for almost all of my life it has been the predominant cycle; starting with being at school myself, then university, then accountancy training. Even in the period where … Continue reading September New Start
It is a wonderful time of the year, holiday season is in full bloom. All thoughts of winter and the problems it can bring are forgotten, especially the bad weather! The sun is out (well it has been so far), Wimbledon has brought its normal excitement and surprise results, Five test matches against the old … Continue reading Friendship and comfort
Dear Friends, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:v11 It was so encouraging to attend your first Church Meeting since Bill’s retirement and to find you all in such good heart. The amazing send-off for Bill on 2nd June was still fresh in … Continue reading Encourage one another
This is the montage that was put together and shown in the afternoon. Enjoy your retirement Bill. … Continue reading Bill’s retirement celebration 2nd June 2019
As I write this, we’re finalising preparations for the service on 2nd June when we celebrate Bill’s 13-year ministry with us. It’s a time to look back, but also to look forward; to compare the routines of the past with the varied leadership of the future; to think of where Bill has led us, to … Continue reading Change