Chapel Street Methodist Church

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Minister's Letter, 10 November

From the Revd Alastair Bolt

Dear Friends,

In this week of Remembrance, the sacrifices, pain and brokenness of the two World Wars finally bring something to our attention which was far worse than even this virus pandemic. Every avoidable death is terrible, but in this present time when we are daily bombarded with statistics of new cases, hospital admissions and Covid deaths, the chilling statistic of 60,000 casualties on the first day of the Battle of the Somme gives us some perspective on what our grandparents endured. In the flu epidemic of 1918, 230,000 people died in the UK.

Our on-line service on Sunday included the hymn ‘O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come’. When we remember how God has brought us through all kinds of crises in the past, we are encouraged to have confidence in Him for present and future difficulties. At the moment many of you have big personal challenges that for you dwarf Covid. Whatever the crisis, international or personal, the Lord will get us through.

I do like big bits of industrial ‘kit’, and I was interested in an enormous road tanker covered in pipes and controls of all kinds. It was a machine for clearing sewers, and had to reach down deep, suck muck up and wash muck out. So, its job was clearing away and removing muck, but it was absolutely pristine. Every part of it was spotless and shining, even the chrome was polished and in perfect condition to deal with… muck! How different to agricultural muck spreaders I sometimes follow down country lanes. They are absolutely filthy, covered in the stuff they spread onto fields and even onto the bonnet of my car!

When it comes to our sin, which the Bible likens to muck, the devil tempts us and spreads muck everywhere he can in our lives. He is himself mucky. But Jesus, Who is spotless in every way, takes away our muck through the forgiveness of our sins. Indeed, His sinlessness makes Him perfectly equipped to take away all our muck.

And now there is the possibility of a vaccine. There is a hope that all these Covid troubles may at some stage come to an end. Let us continue continuing in our faith, worshipping as we can, caring and contacting as we can, praying as we can, not hoping for the best but hoping in the Lord Who is better than the best.

Warm regards to you all,

Alastair's signature

Published at 15:33 on 10 November 2020

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