Pastor's Blog 

Welcome to our blog.  Each week (give or take) we will publish a blog, which will also feature in the church's "weekly news".
 


 

Palm Sunday


This Sunday is Palm Sunday.  Maybe it seems hard to believe – as days for many are blurring one into another.  But this is the day we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  A day that had triumph associated with it – people celebrating and rejoicing.

But people were fickle.  Their cries would change within a week.  As peer pressure and frustration meant that the glimpse of glory was only fleeting for many. But Jesus was there for a purpose – he was not swayed.  He moved towards the need, he put himself into the situations that he was fearful of (remember: “Lord, take this cup away”) knowing that ultimately what mattered was God’s plan (“Not my will but yours”).

We have choices – to be fickle or to be strong.  We find ourselves caught up in one of the most dramatic and risky fights that we have known – with healthcare, not armies, as the front line. 

We have choices – to do the right things and stand together, or to snipe and criticise, even to make ourselves exceptions and give ourselves excuses to justify bad behaviour.

(By the way bad behaviour can be online – think before you post anything.  Is it kind?  Is it necessary? Is it true?)

We need to stay strong and to stay the course.  This next week or fortnight could well be very tough.  There could well be difficult news to contend with.  We may well find that this is no longer “happening to someone else” – but becomes more personal.  Already we know people on the front line, people contracting the virus – and we know people sadly succumbing.

But stay the course.  Don’t give up.  Jesus knew the way was forward.  He knew that there was a prize worth fighting for:  a prize that would give hope beyond measure.  He knew that love would, ultimately conquer.

Be blessed this Palm Sunday. Know Jesus; look to him; stay close and stay strong.
 

05/04/20


 

Stand up to Coronavirus

 

We enjoy watching “Bake Off”.  We watched it with Mel and Sue and Mary Berry, in its BBC days.  We still watch it in the newer format with new presenters and with Prue Leith.  It may be no surprise – Debra’s cakes are famous; I’ve been known to produce a decent loaf of bread.  So baking is a pleasure for us…

It’s been on recently, though, as part of the “Stand up to Cancer” campaign, with celebrities participating.  I thought age meant that policemen and teachers looked younger – but apparently a symptom of age is no longer recognising people who are apparently “celebrities”.  Ho hum…!

But “stand up to cancer “is a worthy rallying cry.  It speaks into the hearts of many.

But now, so does the idea that we “stand up to coronavirus.”

We stand up to it, in part, by complying with government guidance for our own safety. But we can do more than that – and stand up to it in prayer.  We stand up to it in faith.  I was emailed in the week with a reminder that Jesus’ voice withered a fig tree. He then talked about faith that can accomplish much.  Also that “life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).”  Remember too that Jesus’ voice calmed the storm. There is power as he – and as we – speak out.

We, as believers, need to do the physical things – the common sense adherence to isolation and distancing – but we need to grasp the spiritual things.  Pray.  Speak out in the name of Jesus, and declare that we can see this thing beaten.

An old story of a car that wouldn’t work – sees that when pushed it still wouldn’t start. When prayer was applied, it wouldn’t start.  When pushed AND prayer was applied – then the car started.

Be wise in the physical needs of the moment.  Grasp the spiritual initiative and pray. Speak out in His Name. We will see this thing defeated.
 

29/03/20

Chris Jackson, 29/03/2020

 

You are never alone



Another week – another dramatic shift in the way we live in these days dominated by Coronavirus.  Over the week we have seen schools shut, more panic buying, stopping of mass gatherings and the news dominated by COVID-19.

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you”.  Deuteronomy tells of Moses’ instructions to the People of Israel as they are about to enter the promised land.

They were about to step into a promise – so they should have been excited!  And yet God gives them a promise and an encouragement.  “Do not be afraid” is an encouragement repeated often in the Bible.  365 times!  Perhaps God knew that they were the words we needed to hear most.

But why must we not be afraid? “Because the Lord your God is with you.” And that’s the point. Whatever came their way they had the promise of a God who was not going to give up on them. And that applies to us too.

We need to remember that God is with us too.  He is with us in our homes. He is with us when we don’t know what is going to happen next. He is with us always.

Keep him central.  Keep him in mind.  Do not be afraid.

He will never leave you nor forsake you.
 

22/03/20