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Easter Pastoral Letter 2023

Bloomfield Methodist Church Easter Pastoral Letter 2023 from Reverend Nigel Murphy

When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." Matthew 11:2-6.

Easter 2023.

Recently, I had a conversation with some people who are known for their strong faith in Jesus Christ where they expressed their anxious fears of the future. I was challenged by this but also reminded that we all are human and have moments like this. The wars going on throughout the world, the recent earthquake in Turkey/Syria and the political unrest across the world and in our own province are certainly triggers for anxiety. We also have our own personal trials and at present many of our congregation are grieving the loss of loved ones. We continue to pray for our church family in all their trials so that God may impart HIS peace and comfort through the Holy Spirit. The passage of scripture on the front page of this letter is one that has been pressed upon me recently as some people have asked me to explain it. John the Baptist was arrested by Herod Antipas of Galilee and put away in prison. This was undoubtedly a testing time for John where he may have been anxious of the future and so he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" John the Baptist was very well regarded for his strong testimony/faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as he was the one appointed by God to announce his arrival. How could John the Baptist ask such a question?

John's doubts may be explained by surmising that perhaps he misunderstood the ministry of the messiah. On the other hand, he may have thought that Jesus would perform works connected with a political deliverance of Israel - or perhaps his own deliverance from prison to assist Jesus. There is a thought that it could have been for the benefit of his own disciples that he sent them to ask this question because they were disillusioned, and this would have been an opportunity to encourage them. The dominant thought is that John is a man who is restless and was challenged in a way that his faith wavered. This represents our humanity in the trials we face today!

However, it is especially important that we focus on Jesus' answer to the question put to him, verses 4-5 on front page. The miracles of Jesus Christ authenticate who he is. The evidence made Jesus' identity obvious. Under the old covenant, every other prophet announced that the messiah is coming but John alone had the privilege of saying the messiah is here! John's ministry was like that of Elijah and the prophets, and we must remember that they were known for their anxiety and depression! Much of it was triggered by the unjust situations they found themselves in when they did not meet the expectations of the people and hence many were murdered! We know how the story goes and I pray that the image on the front cover will remind you of God's sovereign plan for the salvation of the world, his resurrection, and the ways that his Holy Spirit is reaching out to comfort and heal our brokenness. Who can you help today? What can you say and do for someone today? Who can you encourage? God instructed his people to love. As we stand against injustice, the Holy Spirit will empower us to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he has commanded us. We are created to love. 1 John 3:11, 'This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.' Reah and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Easter. The manse telephone number is 028 90 651 810 and mobile number is 079 888 07 803. For the online services go to Bloomfield Methodist Church Facebook or Bloomfield Methodist Church You Tube. If you would like your pastoral letter emailed in the future, please send your email address to Jennifer (Contact the webmaster if you need her email) Peace be with you, your friend and minister, Reverend Nigel Murphy


Bloomfield Methodist Church - Palm Sunday Morning Service - 2nd of April 2023, 11am, led by Reverend Nigel Murphy. Our visiting preacher will be Reverend Josh Hooker.

Bloomfield Presbyterian Church - Palm Sunday Evening Service - 2nd April, 7pm, Reverend Josh Hooker.

Holy Week Services are as follows -

Monday 3rd April 2023 - St Donards Church - 7:30pm - Reverend Josh Hooker. Tuesday 4th April 2023 - Bloomfield Methodist Church - 7:30pm - Reverend Josh Hooker. Wednesday 5th April 2023 - St Donards Church - 7:30pm - Reverend Josh Hooker. Thursday 6th April - Bloomfield Presbyterian Church - Agape Meal - 7-9pm (three course). (Please remember to sign the sheet in the front foyer of church by the end of March if you plan to attend). Good Friday 7th April 2023 - St Donards Church - 7:30pm - Reverend Josh Hooker. Good Friday Walk of Witness - 7th April 2023 - 1pm. We will be meeting at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church and walking to St Donards and then to Bloomfield Methodist for a cuppa and hot cross buns in the Noble Hall. If you can't participate in the walk, you are welcome to join us in the Noble Hall. Bloomfield Methodist Church Easter Communion Service - Sunday 9th April 2023, 11am - Reverend Nigel Murphy. Hospital Visits: if you have a family member, loved one or know of a member of the congregation who has been admitted to hospital for treatment, please let the minister know asap so a visit can be arranged. The minister can also be contacted via email When telephoning please leave a message. If you would like a house call from the minister you are welcome to request.


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