War Memorial Gary Trouton

Methodist Notes

June 2004

The monthly Methodist Newsletter

Stoke Ferry Methodist Church Services


Revd Andrew Sankey Revd Matt Finch

01366 383231 01353 667568

andrew@sankeys.fsnet.co.uk finchy@mfinch.f9.co.uk

June 6th 11.00 Proclaim

June 13th 11.00 To be decided

June 20th 11.00 Revd G. Thompson

June 27th 11.00 Church Fellowship Service

Dear Friends,

I don't know about you but the world seems a pretty nasty place at the moment. There are the awful pictures shown through out our media portraying torture of prisoners from both sides in the Gulf War. Then there is Zimbabwe, out of our news headlines at the minute, but still there are the injustices and recently more massacres have taken place. The news is full of inhumane treatment of others. These two stories and others seem to insult our natural ideas of love, decency and compassion. Within us everything screams "it is not fair that somebody must suffer like that" or "it disgraceful that one human could do that to another".

For me, this horror poses really questions about faith and humanity. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be Christian? What is humane action? As a minister, at the chapel, I fall back more and more upon two things: first, the fact that the creator of this world crafted humanity to be special and second the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

For Christians in amongst the horror and heartache of this world, when things simply do not make sense, we have an hope. It is founded on being created by the creator of the universe by God himself. Christians believe humanity is specially set apart to care for each other and this world. Our humanity is defined by being made in the image of God, as we look at one another we are not simply animals we are people who have the finger prints of God all over us. It is because of this that Christians see all life as sacred, be it enemy or friend, the lover or the unlovable. We must care for life even when it seems difficult because God cares for us.

Also, as we look at the person of Jesus we understand how we should treat one another. Christians, as well as believing Christ was divine, believe his life to have been perfect. Therefore, as we read of his life and actions so we see how we are to treat people in a humane way. It is inspiring to read in the Bible of how he lived in a counter-cultural way, in a way so radical that people could not understand such unconditional love. He taught that one day those who suffer would be set free, he spoke that the hungry of this world would be fed, he proclaimed that the first should be last, he spoke that the grieving would be comforted. But Jesus was not simply about words, in his actions he touched those that nobody else would, he healed the sick, fed the hungry, spoke to the outcast and forgave when punishment was sought. In words and actions Jesus treated those who the world considered as animals as those created and crafted in the image of God. He wanted so much for this world to be different that he lay down his life for us all. What a challenge!

As Christians we strive to be like Christ but we do not always get it right! Indeed we fall short like all people but it is an ideal that this world could perhaps aim for. As we watch and shout at the inhumane treatment of people on the TV, may our hands dirty, as well as our voices hoarse, in the fight for humans to be treated humanely! Maybe just maybe we can make changes in the way we value those who live around us!

Please feel free to challenge us on this, to drop in on our services or even to give one of us a call if we can help in anyway.

God bless,

Matt Finch

Revd Matt Finch

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