"The Beacon reflects Christ's light, shares God's love and serves the community."

 

BEACON BLOG

 

Thoughts we have shared during the past month:

(click on the Bible reading references in italics to go to them)

 

Sunday 29 March

 

Life Returns (written by the Rev Dr Paul Glass)

 

As hunkering and distancing and isolation reign… know this… Life returns.

 

As news distresses and anxiety presses down… know this… Life returns.

 

As our four walls crowd in with no end in sight… know this… Life returns.

 

Life - it breaks out and through, it cracks the shackles. It bursts out of caves and tombs. It weaves and threads it smashes and turns over. It is full to the brim and runs over. It will return.

 

There is spring bursting into bloom, and there will be long summer days. There will be walks by the sea and long dinner conversations. There will be the joy filled hugs of friends and laughing over tall tales. And when life returns - Lazarus like - there will be new appreciation of its power and joy.

 

Things taken for granted will be understood to be the precious gifts that they are. Days have been dark before. But life returns. It always does. Weeping may come… Jesus wept. But life returned and ran and jumped and skipped and careened and spun in giddy abandon. So isolate now - distance now - keep safe now. But know this for a certainty… life returns. 

 

John 1, verse 5

 

"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it."

 

Our Minister, the Rev Miriam Moul, comments:

 

These are clearly uncertain and anxious times. But the truth of our faith as Kingdom people is that we trust, know and experience ourselves Jesus Christ, our Friend, Saviour and Light of the World. No darkness can ever overcome that light. We hope that you will feel held and loved by God in the days and weeks that are ahead of us in these challenging times

 

Sunday 22 March

 

(with thanks to the Rev Kathryn Stephens of Swan Bank Methodist Church in Burslem, near Stoke on Trent).

 

Many people will be fearful at this time - and that's understandable. Fear is all around us. Some will not, and that's okay, too. Some will face fear with faith. The message from the Bible is that God is with us - remember that: God is with us. He was with others in the Bible who were fearful, including Moses leading the children of Israel to freedom, and David facing Goliath. He told them to be bold and courageous for "I am with you". We need to know, in this difficult time, that God has got this, and we need to be faithful. Jesus's final words to His disciples were "Remember, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age". God is with us, God has got this, God is still God. Don't forget it, and remind others of this truth because it can make the world of difference in these days of uncertainty.

 

And on the same theme, here's a short video by Andy Frost - click here

 

Sunday 15 March

 

Amidst the current fast-changing and confusing situation of coronavirus, we shared our fears and concerns at Café Church and prayed for all those affected by it. The theme of the service, led by Deacon Michelle, was Trust - what we trust, who we trust, and whether we trust God for everything. Our reading was from Matthew 24 verses 22 to 32, about how the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water towards them when they were in danger in their boat in a storm. Peter trusted that he, too, could walk on the water - but then he doubted and started to sink. We must remember in these challenging times that we don't need to fear - we have a God who is always with us. And He will never let go. You might like to watch this video.

 

Sunday 8 March

 

God asks us to take a risk and do something new, something out of the ordinary.

 

After hearing a reading from Genesis 12 about Abraham being called to leave his home and move on, even at a late stage in his life, Ian Couchman said it reminded us of all the people in the world who have to leave their homes today and move on. It requires a certain amount of loss, a journey that leaves behind our old lives to take up something new. There are so many situations today where people are on a journey that they wouldn't have chosen to take. But it confirms God's commitment to the world and humanity. He is with us.

 

Following our second reading from John chapter 3 about Nicodemus coming to see Jesus, we heard how we should be speaking into power and the things that are wrong with the world, and saying that this is not right. In broken humanity God declares His love to everyone. To be in the light is to be in a relationship with Jesus. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

 

You may like to read John 3, verses 1 to 17.

 

 

Sunday 1 March

 

Lent is a time to pay attention to what God is saying to us."

 

Our Minister the Rev Miriam Moul took Jesus's experience in the wilderness as her theme for our service, and the temptations that He faced. Man shall not live by bread alone, and we should be people who live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Power can offer an easy substitute to the hard task of loving. It's easier to own life than love life. The devil leads through power, Jesus leads through love. May we be people who seek after love - not power - in our lives. Jesus spends his life serving others. The outward signs of success mean nothing to Him. He gives away what He has for the sake of others. Jesus invites us to seek first the Kingdom of God.

 

You might like to read Matthew 4, verses 1 to 11.