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Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Tricia

Methodist Church

Minister's Letter

Dear Friends

In the Wilderness

The gospel writers tell us that immediately after his baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and it was there that he encountered his first spiritual crisis.  I discovered recently that in the Chinese language the word ‘crisis’ is made up of two ideograms. One represents ‘danger’ and the other ‘opportunity’ and Jesus’ experience in the wilderness brought these two themes together.  Mark tells us that there were wild beasts in the wilderness but ministering angels were there too as Jesus defied the dangers, both physical and spiritual. We can see that he grasped the opportunity to grow in grace through his encounter with temptation for Luke tells us that he returned to Galilee ‘and the power of the Holy Spirit was with him.’ The wilderness was a positive experience for Jesus through which he clarified the nature of his mission.

If our Lent means going with Jesus into the wilderness, we can expect both testing and triumph.  Deep within our inner being, powerful pressures, which in religious terms we call temptations, may sometimes rise to the surface and break through our inner defences leading us to speak or behave in ways that are lacking in love and grace. It is a time of trial and danger.  But because the wilderness is the place where we encounter God and his redeeming love, it is also the place of opportunity. It is in that encounter with ourselves and simultaneously with God that we discover – or rediscover – the abundant life that Jesus gives us all.

In the wilderness, Jesus prayed and meditated on the Hebrew scriptures which he had learned from childhood. The devil attacked where Jesus was strong, quoting the scriptures and applying them falsely. Jesus drew on his memory and made a counter attack with other passages which kept his faith from failing.  When we experience times of crisis and challenge we too can draw strength from God through prayer and reading the Bible, and God in his grace enables us to remain strong and Christ himself surrounds us with healing and hope.

May this season of Lent be a time of blessing and renewal for you all.

With all good wishes

Tricia

March 2019



Pastoral Prayers – June 2019

Please pray for the following during the coming month:-

Pam Malpass - Pastoral Visitor

Margaret Bickerdike, George Bunker, Geoff and Jan Corke, Hazel Downing, Barbara Mortlock, Joyce Pass, Bridget, Martina and Maxine Pieterse, Sandra Taylor and Barry and Joan Turnwell.

We have had some requests for others during our recent services so please also remember them in your prayers.

Alex Pitchforth, Virginia Cole & family, Sandra's husband - Kenneth, Joan Symes, Richard, Harvey & Emily Conely, Val Hames, friends of Sandy Chris & Marian and the family and friends of Nick Hollingsworth who passed away on 16th May.

Every Blessing to you all,

Virginia Cole, Pastoral Secretary


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Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757