THE service at Crediton Methodist Church on Sunday, July 23 was led by Rev Jeanette Richardson.

Jeanette asked why people “have come to church today?”

Whatever our reasons, God welcomes all and graciously gives us all we need for an abundant life. 

Sometimes, though, life feels challenging and we have an abundance of anxiety rather than an abundance of joy and peace. 

In Psalm 86 the writer, David, asks God for help when he is needy and facing enemies.

Jeanette asked whether, when we are struggling, have we felt like David?

He has not yet found God’s comforting presence. 

Maybe we are so taken up with the situation around us that we give no opportunity for God to allow His peace to dwell in our hearts. 

Sometimes it can be very difficult to forgive those who are hurting us. 

Jesus reassures His followers that times will be difficult and He will be with them wherever they are and however they may feel.

I know of the dreadful things often done in the name of religion. 

I find it hard to see that the God of justice and mercy would counter such torment. 

Jesus does not say anything about eternal torment. He likens it to the burning of weeds after the harvest and once the weeds have been destroyed – it is over.

Jeanette imagined the workers carefully pulling out weeds. 

Later, they found many weeds had grown and there was a crop of fruitful and unfruitful wheat. 

They had been unable at first to discern the difference and now had to live with the consequences.  

It was sometimes difficult to discern between good and bad. Jesus knew that and warned His disciples. 

There are things we need to change. Sometimes change will only cause more damage. 

We live in a world that is good and bad. We should pray “Teach us your ways that we might walk in your truth”.

As we look around our world it is easy to find things that are wrong. 

It is difficult to make things right.  

Recently we have seen on the news the devastating wildfires in Europe.

Fire is destructive, but we have the image of the Holy Spirit’s purifying and cleansing fire. 

We invite the Holy Spirit to come to open our hearts and remove the weeds that are taking away the goodness and stopping us being fruitful. 

We ask God to transform our lives so that we may be fruitful and sow the seeds of the Kingdom.

  Bronwyn Nott