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Dear Friends,

We are in the season of Lent, preparing ourselves for Easter.

Some of us will be studying particular issues in our Bible Study Groups.

It is good to meet and share with fellow pilgrims along the way and learn from each other.

Some will be travelling with light hearts.

They are discovering a growing intimacy with the God they love.

They sense they are heard, and feel affirmed and encouraged.

They feel a response to the cries of their hearts.

Others are stumbling along a different path.

The ground is stony. There are obstructions and diversions.

They feel alone, unheard, ignored.

Their hearts ache for even a murmur of response.

But the silence is deafening. They feel lost, anxious that they have wandered off track.

Take courage! As we follow in the footsteps of Jesus we see he was a fellow traveller walking the same stony paths as we do.

His journey of faith to the Cross helps us with our own journeys.

He is a guide in the face of the challenges along the path and a signpost showing us the way to our final destination.

We all need wisdom to know when it’s best to wait, to plunge in or to try a different route altogether.

Jesus didn’t plunge into ministry the moment he reached adulthood

Instead he lived quietly in Nazareth until he was 30.

The journey Jesus took showed him facing his own time of temptation.

But unlike us, he never gave in, and in his resistance we can see ways of facing our challenges with renewed and strengthened defences.

We see Jesus following the path to Gethsemane, making the choice to go God’s way, and this helps us make that same choice too.

From here Jesus faces the injustice of his trial but he is not daunted.

He faced such suffering that led to such pain on Good Friday.

For a short time the death of Jesus appeared to be the end, the Son of God was defeated.

Even as we focus on Good Friday we are reminded that even in the darkest moments of our lives the light of God’s power and love still shines on.

But Jesus TRIUMPHED. He rose from the dead.

The Resurrection brought good news.

Instead of struggling and failing to sort ourselves out on our own, the power of Jesus allows us to be born again, to have a new life and the chance to become the person God made us to be. What a wonderful challenge!!

If you are not in a Bible Study Group join one now and use the time to prepare yourself for this season.

You would be most welcome at Park Grove Methodist Church to join our Lent group held on Thursdays – 22nd February, 14th March and 28th March 10am until 11.30am. Everyone welcome.

Every blessing to you all this Easter-time.

Rev. Diane Hicks

Letter from our Minister

Rev. Diane Hicks