Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Minister: Rev Julian Albrow, Telephone (01392) 255791
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith, into this grace in which we stand, AND WE REJOICE IN THE HOPE OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Romans: 5: 1 & 2
Paul wrote these words to his folk, describing the gift that comes through the knowledge of Christ and his love, through the power of His Holy Spirit. Sadly today, as in his, many do not ‘have hope, and are without God in the world’.
Once, people found a purpose in life through their work. Employment enabled them to plan for the future, marry and bring up a family. So many of our young folk today are growing up, not knowing if they will get a job, and if they do, how long they will keep it. Rent, or a mortgage have become a millstone around folk’s necks. They may be haunted by the spectre of repossession, and fear losing their jobs and their homes. Life seems pointless, so often they live on the surface of life, not thinking too deeply unless they must. They may look for diversions to pass the time away; they seek instant satisfaction for anything they want. The most they hope for is such luck in the National Lottery that they may not have to work at all. All this gives them no muscle to cope with the hard knocks of life. They can only keep their fingers crossed, and hope that misfortunes will not happen to them. How can we help society and what message has the Church got to such people. As James wrote in his epistle, we cannot expect them to turn to God to give them a purpose for living, unless we, as representatives of His Kingdom show by our actions we are concerned with their needs, and were actively involved in tackling the problems of homelessness and unemployment and the social and emotional problems associated with them.
We need to, in our lives, words and actions, demonstrate the reality of the Hope, Christ has given us. 37th Psalm says ‘Trust in the Lord, and he will act. Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.’ God promises to give us faith so we may live in hope. Then we can echo Robert Bridges hymn, ‘All my hope in God is founded.’ The Hebrews hoped in God because of what he had done for them in the past. They sang in Psalm 107: ‘O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness, and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men.’ Their hope for the future was a confident expectancy of what the Lord God will do. That was their hope for this life. In the New Testament, hope springs from the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead. St Paul says ‘We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus; and will bring us with you into His presence ‘ 2 Corinthians 4:14. This is our reason for Hope. Jesus still comes in the act of Holy Communion, to fill our lives with hope, that we may work with him and live for him, and in doing so we will find abundant life, for ‘in His presence is the fullness of joy (Psalm 16:12). ‘May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing, so, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15: 13).
God Bless, Julian