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  • Writer's pictureJade Zerk

Embrace new encounters and situations

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

by Jade Zerk - Hope in Highbridge Minister

I have had plenty of new beginnings over the years! I am so used to change that for me stability is unsettling. However, I am in good company, while journeying with Jesus the disciples encountered a lot of change and people, people experiencing new beginnings. When Jesus is present things happen and those around Jesus have to embrace new encounters and situations.

People who encountered Christ, encountered life changes and with that experienced New Beginnings, with some having the scales removed their eyes, now seeing the truth, others being set free from demons and all that’s in between. These encounters didn’t just affect those individuals but impacted those around them as well as those around Christ – disciples and the religious people – Pharisees, Sadducees etc. Jesus taught those watching what was happening and why, but so often they were missing the beauty of a New Beginning. The religious folk where getting caught up in the old way of doing things, the law and not seeing the Christ.

In John 5 we read of the man healed at the Pool of Bethsaida. It's a sad story, the people had got used to the man waiting for 38 years and no one had thought to help him. He had probably got used to it. He didn’t cry out to Jesus but rather Jesus saw him and in doing so got to know him and ask what he wanted. In moments through the words of Jesus he was made well, his life changed, he had a new beginning after 38 years of being led by a pool, he now had a life and yet the religious folk missed it, they missed the new beginning why... because Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath. They looked to criticise rather than support or question what Good was happening. They stuck to what they knew instead of seeing what Christ was doing.

Let's be careful, are we embracing new beginnings, looking out for new beginnings in the lives of people around us? Or are we just criticising the things that are new, make us feel slightly uncomfortable and are different. As they say at Bristol Baptist College, be prepared to be wrong sometimes.

At Hope, we’ve been embracing new beginnings for the last couple of years. With the drastic change in our Garden which now changes with the seasons. Sunday services take on different layouts, formats each week and at times take us out into the garden! We embrace new things on Thursdays with charities and agencies joining us and others leaving, volunteers coming and going but the work remains the same, to create a safe space and providing support for our local community.

You are all very welcome anytime, we gather at 11am Sundays or come and join us for a cuppa from Midday. Thursday Mornings we serve Tea & Coffee alongside our Help & Advice, Gardening (10-12) feel free to pop in and see what’s happening, meet people from the community; we gather to pray at 1pm. We currently have two daytime homegroups and hope to restart our Boardgame Evening (1st and 3rd Thursday of the Month) next month.

Do join us in celebrating harvest at our Harvest Supper, as we give thanks for the work the team have put into the garden and all the freshly grown food that has been given out to the people of Highbridge.

Harvest Supper - 10th October 6.30pm.

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