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Christmas Pastoral Letter 2022

Bloomfield Methodist Church - Thursday 8th December 2022

A Christmas Pastoral Letter from Reverend Nigel Murphy He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God.' John 1:10-13

In my week off before the Christmas rush it is always good to relax and prepare for Christmas. We put a lot of emphasis/value on what we do and hence we can get absorbed in being busy! I enjoy listening to country and western music and the lyrics written by Merle Haggard, 'Stop the world and let me off,' strike me as to how we are influenced to live busy lives. Merle Haggard undoubtedly thought the world needed to slow down and this song was a famous hit which indicates that many people could identify with the emotions in his lyrics. There are many things that can influence our minds or mood, for example, news reports on television, newspapers, social media, family, friends, and our employers. Wherever I go the cost-of-living crisis has been the most talked about! The celebration of Christmas is coming closer, and we need to put food on the table, and we have presents to buy. Do cold evenings mean the choice between a cooked meal or turning the heating on? Does every tank of fuel for the car mean one less present? Does your anxiety increase with the supermarket prices? However, amidst the current climate the Christmas story remains the same and just as relevant! Jesus knew how difficult life in this world would be before he entered it as a vulnerable baby. Jesus foreknew the challenges, the values of the world which are opposed to him! The ways in which the values of the world influenced the religious leaders. It is the same today as there is nothing new under the sun.

It is important to look at the life of Jesus. Jesus owned very little, had no savings, and relied on the kindness of others for his daily needs. When he was born, he was put to rest in a borrowed manger. When he grew up and taught about money, he had to borrow a coin from the crowd. When he rode into Jerusalem, he did it on a borrowed donkey. After his execution on the cross, his body was laid in a borrowed tomb. Jesus had no home or money. Does all this mean that Jesus does not want us to have these things? No, Jesus does not want us to be too preoccupied chasing after any of the treasures on earth. Why did Jesus come into the world as a human being? is the important question to ask ourselves at Christmas. Why did Jesus leave his throne in heaven to live a penniless, humble, and short time on earth? Jesus came to claim the only treasure worth having, You and me! Jesus connected with people in ways that no one else could because he is LOVE and different to the ways of the world that elevates itself/ego and puts others down!

God became a human being to draw alongside his creation and show us how to stop the world from influencing us. Following Jesus is the only treasure that lasts during a cost-of-living crisis or any crisis! Everyone who places their trust in Jesus enters a lasting and secure relationship with God. This is the hope of Christmas! Jesus will provide for us in all our ups and downs. Jesus Christ is the real treasure we need. If you are willing to trust him, our debts and living costs will not magically disappear, but he will provide for us each day. Jesus will grant us his wisdom in making new choices/decisions. We will know true joy and peace because we do not have to manage our lives on our own. God is with us and will walk with us. In our adversities the Lord changes our minds/thinking in ways that we learn to let go and allow him to increasingly take control of our lives. May we do that this Christmas. Please take time to reflect on how you need to stop and spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ to listen to and obey his guidance through the Holy Spirit. And not just for today, this week, New Year but always.

Reah and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Christmas and a blessed new year.

The manse telephone number is 028 90 651 810 and mobile number 07988807803. For the online services go to Bloomfield Methodist Church Facebook or Bloomfield Methodist Church You Tube.

Peace be with you, your friend and minister, Reverend Nigel Murphy

Announcements Hospital Visits: If you have a family member, loved one or know a member of the congregation who has been admitted to hospital for treatment, please let the minister know as soon as possible so a visit can be arranged. The minster can also be contacted via email When telephoning please leave a message if the minister does not answer immediately. If you would like a house call from the minister you are also welcome to request this. Kids For Christ is for anyone 3 years to 11 years old. Bible class is also available for those older. KFC is at 11am every Sunday. There will be stories, Crafts, Games, Toys, Songs, Poems, Drama and More. There is a Breakfast club the last Sunday of the month at 10:30am. KFC Christmas Service - Sunday 11th December 2022 -11am. Carol Service - Sunday 18th December 2022 - 4pm. Please note that there will be no morning service on Sunday 18th December 2022. Christmas Morning Service - Sunday 25th December 2022 - 9:30am. This will be a short service and young families are encouraged/welcome to bring their Christmas presents/toys. Sunday 1st January 2023 - 11am Worship Service. Covenant Communion Worship Service: Sunday 8th January 2023, 11am. World Development Road Show Service for the Belfast East Circuit - Wednesday 11th January 2023, 7:30pm in Bloomfield Methodist Church and in Cregagh Methodist Church on Sunday 15th January 2023, 7pm.


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