Robert Broughton welcomed Peter to our church. He has known him all his life, growing up in Limefield Road, Smithills, playing tennis at Barrow Bridge and sharing fellowship and happy times at Harvey Street Methodist Church.
Whereas Peter’s father Arnold was a Lay preacher, Peter dedicated his life to the ministry and it was a very rewarding part of his life, we hope Peter enjoyed his time with us this morning, and hope he will come again.
Rev Peter Haywood described his early years in Bolton until he entered the Methodist Ministry which, of course, took him away. Consequently, because he comes as a visitor knowing little about us/our congregation he chose a sermon that attempted to encompass most aspects of everyday life.
ALWAYS WITH US
The text came from St Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 28 and verse .20 when Jesus promised to be with us to the end of the world. The relevant word is always.
- He is with us in the GOOD TIMES. When we walk in green pastures and by still waters. This presents two challenges; first to drink more deeply of life, to embrace new depths of gratitude for all life’s blessings. Secondly to face the challenge good times bring and work for those who are wounded and needful. It was explained how a small group of teenagers reacting to the safe birth of a baby in 1980 turned small gifts into over £700,000.
- He is with us in QUESTIONING TIMES, when we ask the question ‘why’ about the suffering a evil of life. In the New Testament passage read in the Service Jesus gives no answer to ‘why’ but a clear instruction to use pain as an agent of transformation. What is clearly not the Will of God is turned into it through our redemptive activity.
- He is with us in life’s STRUGGLING TIMES, when everything seems to fall apart. In the 23rd Psalm we read that he brings us through the darkest valley not leaving us imprisoned in it. He is with us in our struggles.
- He is with us in all life’s FUTURE TIMES. WE are often confused by fear, especially regarding our unknown futures. There really is no tomorrow because when we get there it is always today and there will be sufficient resources for that day. The women running to the tomb on Easter morning worried about moving the grave stone. They need not have done so because when they got there the stone had already been rolled away. So it will be with our tomorrows.