We were blessed to have the Rev’d Graham Horsley from Oswestry to lead our morning’s worship last Sunday and Graham and his wife were warmly welcomed by our steward, Margaret Maxwell, thanking him for this, his first service at Ashley Methodist Church. Graham responded appropriately and called us to worship as we sang our opening hymn “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine: O what a foretaste of glory divine” a well-known hymn in the Methodist Church.
There followed prayers of praise and adoration and the Lord’s Prayers said jointly with the minister. Ron Lucas read the only bible reading of the service, from Mark, chapter one, which told of the calling to serve of four humble fishermen to become disciples of Jesus, Simon and his brother Andrew, and two brothers, James and John. Jesus said to them “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch men” and at once they left their nets and went with him.
Graham led our prayers for others particularly those known and unknown among us who are in need during these difficult times stressing the love of Jesus for all.
He preached on one word “Repent” which in the Good News Bible, from which the reading was taken earlier, was translated as “Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News”. This, said Graham, was a better way of looking at this command from Jesus as it implored us to turn from the bad to the better and the good. He then explained this part of the gospel of Mark under three headings. First, to turn from greed to generosity and here he used as an example the story of the widow’s mite where she gave a small amount graciously, but it represented all she had whereas the rich made much of their giving, which they could well afford. Second, to turn from the narrow view to the world view. That we need to look after those who are hard to like as Jesus looked to those who are hurting the most and we need to turn from anger to love. “Jesus implored us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves”. Third, he said, “follow me” and we are called to follow him. When caught in a difficult situation the question to ask, said Graham is” what would Jesus do?” In all things, Jesus is our example as we focus on him.