Moston Methodist Church

Minister – Rev Sharon Read

POSTED ON: 15 October 2020

Letter from our minister 15/10/2020

Thursday 15th October 2020

Dear friends

How are you all really? Fine is how we all seem to respond these days along with getting on with it. We now find ourselves designated not as a local lockdown area but allocated within a tier system for the coronarvirus pandemic. Greater Manchester is now tier 2 or HIGH. Each borough working hard at informing its residents now as to what we can do amongst the HAND FACE SPACE campaign. There was a moment of joy as I read about this as it said we could meet under the rule of 6 in our gardens, for I too am missing my family and friends after almost 3 months (if not longer) of not seeing them. If this pandemic has taught us anything - it has reminded us of those people who do help us keep going in difficult times. 

At the beginning of the pandemic we were encouraged to look for those moments of joy. Some days they are hard to find. You might tell me to look out of my window and at my wonderful view. Yes this does bring joy but it also sadly sometimes reminds me of the isolation and loneliness and sadness that this pandemic is having. 

I often read The Message version of the Bible but I haven’t done so for a little while because it currently props up my laptop for a better view and angle on zoom. Yesterday I was pointed to Romans 12 and in this version made me stop in my tracks. I encourage you to read the whole chapter (attached) but I quote just a few verses. 

 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. 


During these long frustrating days of the pandemic with more restrictions and singing hymns together feels so far away - it feels we must consider the foundations of our faith again - to draw close to God and rest in Him more and more. 

For all that you miss, for loved ones and companions, for our chatting over coffee, for the daily things taken for granted, for the loneliness, for the struggles, may you know God’s arms holding you tight for you are his precious child. may you have moments of WOW and moments of joy in the everyday ordinary. 

I look forward to you joining us on zoom for worship. Until next time, know that you are held in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Sharon

PS As I type – it is being debated that we may enter TIER 3. Lets continue to watch and pray

Romans 12 from The Message translation

Place Your Life Before God

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

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