Reflections by Rev Ajay Singh


Sunday 12 July

The Parable of the Seed Sower

Matthew 13 : 1‑9 18‑23

This is a very common and popular parable we remember since childhood, unless you were born again more recently. Even though we have known it for a very long time there may be a small percentage of Christians who get confused by the sequence. This really does not matter as long as you remember the basics of the parable.

There are four places where seeds are sown:

WhereWhat Happened
1.Roadside/pathBirds devoured them
2.Rocky groundThey were scorched by the sun
3.Among thorny bushesThorns choked them
4.Fertile groundThey produced grain, some 100 fold, some 60 fold and some 30 fold

Understanding the four places where seeds are sown:

1. Roadside/path: This is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom but does not understand it. Evil comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.

2. Rocky ground: This is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet it does not take root within himself, but endures only for a while and when tribulation and persecution arises on account of the word he falls away immediately.

3. Among thorny bushes: This is the one who hears the word but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and it proves unfruitful.

4. Fertile ground: This is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred fold, in another sixty and in another thirty.

Jesus uses parables in a context where it becomes easier to understand a difficult and mysterious point.

If we challenge ourselves, what kind of soil do we consider our heart to be to receive the word of the Kingdom? Most of us would agree with the fourth one (fertile ground), but ask again: is this true? After re-examination we would find that it varies for each of us.

Let our hearts be the soil of the fertile ground where the word of God be sown as the seed of fruitfulness. We may bear the fruit by keeping our faith firm in Him, which cannot be snatched, fall away when facing persecution and turbulence or choked by any evils. May God’s Spirit be our strength to grow in His Kingdom.

God bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 5 July

Jesus Thanks His Father

Matthew 11 : 25‑30 NRSV

As we read the Gospel of Matthew 11 : 25‑30 we learn how Jesus thanks His Father and reveals His authority to the people of the world. He invites us to carry His yoke, which is light and easier, because He is with us.

There are two parts to this passage:

In the first part Jesus thanks God for the authority of the world given to Him. He praises His Father for the unexpected way in which the wisdom of God is revealed to the weak and powerless, rather than the mighty or learned.

In the second part Jesus invites those who are lost in faith of unbelief to give them rest.

In this context ‘rest’ means the opportunity to enjoy the perfect unshakable confidence of salvation in our Lord, in this life as well as in the life to come. When we rest in God we have absolute trust and confidence in his power, meaning there is no reason to fear any situation or any person.

Actually, Jesus’ statement here is not an invitation to receive salvation. It is an invitation to discipleship. In other words, Jesus is asking those people who are already saved to become his disciples.

Being saved does not make us disciples. To be saved, we only have to believe and repent. According to Matthew 28 : 19, being a disciple means doing everything that Jesus taught us to do. It has a cost, and we have to prepare to pay the cost. The Gospels indicate that not everyone who believed were disciples.

According to the Gospel of Matthew 23 : 4 the weary and the burdened are actually God’s own people that were burdened with the oral tradition of the Pharisees throughout the centuries; not the unsaved or the working class. The ‘yoke’ (a yoke consisted of a wooden crossbar laid across the necks of a team of oxen and attached with leather straps) is a metaphor used to describe the discipline of discipleship.

Although most of the people in faith are not burdened and worn out by religious formalities today, they live in a world whose only religion is money, power and sex. (The world looks for everlasting rest in these). These things do give you a sense of rest but it is not real and does not last long. Being a faithful disciple of Jesus and living in this world is not easy because, often, its religion challenges our Christian faith and lifestyle every day and pressures us into becoming its disciples. But Jesus said his yoke is light and easier because he is an ever-present help in times of temptation to compromise.

I do personally feel, looking at my journey so far, that whatever I do in this ministry I could not have done without God’s help. The Holy Spirit leads me through my prayers and shows me the path to go along with God’s will.

May God bless you as we acknowledge His grace, thanking him for everything He does through us. Moreover, through Jesus, the instruction to carry His yoke is passed on. Therefore, may God be our strength for us to carry His yoke and to thank Him as Jesus did.

God bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 28 June

Welcome, Hospitality and Rewards

Matthew 10 : 40‑42 NRSV

Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.

This passage is concerned with the ways in which others receive those followers of God who bring the message of God. It demonstrates that their reception is not always positive but, at the end of the age, there will be profound consequences for the recipients. It highlights again the importance in that culture of offering hospitality. The reference to providing water, which was the basic requirement of hospitality then as now, is echoed in the gospel of Matthew, speaking of the time ‘when the Son of Man comes in his glory’. Jesus welcomes and rewards those who, in giving a drink to one of his ‘brothers’, are viewed as having ministered to Jesus himself.

The storm of Covid-19 is not yet over. We should not forget the loss of nearly forty-three thousand lives in the UK and how the NHS has been welcoming to those patients and has done its best to care for them. I would encourage you to use your reasoning first to be safe and then to create a safer place for others. We are now in an age and culture where it is unsafe to welcome any stranger into our homes from the point of view of safeguarding. Our Churches are working hard performing risk assessments and implementing safety measures to make the buildings safe before we re-open and provide a welcome again.

Paul speaks of parts, or members, of bodies being used for sinful acts. In contrast, he says, believers are now no longer slaves to sin and heading towards death, but slaves to God – and that ends in ‘eternal life’. We learn from the scriptures that, initially, many people did not welcome Jesus. He was not considered the Messiah that the Jews expected to come. In terms of receiving others, Jesus says, “Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward”.

We should be welcoming and be ready to respond to the needs of others carefully, as it is done to God by doing it for God’s people. It may be for now that our homes are not be the best places, but what could be better than a Church once it opens?

A thought for personal reflection: How do you see the Church as a place of worship and fellowship after lockdown?

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 21 June

What we lose and what we gain

Based on Matthew 10: 24–39

This passage tends to confuse the reader whose impression of Jesus is: one who gives salvation, lifesaver, introduces the love of God in Him, Messiah, The Lamb of God, and advocate between God and man. Suddenly, it reflects the importance of why we should believe in Him, and explains the purpose of His ministry, which had caused us to struggle to understand what he really meant.

He explains that your faith stands for yourself. If you are expecting as a Christian that your life is to live for worldly pleasure and enjoy family life by ignoring God then these entire things of distraction and separation apply to you. The expectation here is that our priority should be given to God in all aspects of our lives; trusting Him as our master, who has control over everything since our first parents Adam and Eve until today.

Have we ever felt discouragement through being bullied or insulted for our faith, or received verbal abuse for believing in God? Or, on the other hand, have we taken the mockery as a wonderful compliment and been bold to proclaim Jesus as our saviour, whom we know through the word of the Bible either through tradition or by being a born again Christian.

In today’s world it could be considered ill practice and going against the norms of safeguarding but history is a living witness: believers faced a lot of persecution and became martyrs in expression of their faith, love and commitment to the mission of the Lord.

The general understanding of life as a Christian is that it is peaceful, pleasing and relaxing, requiring little effort beyond having membership of any Church, attending worship on Sundays, offering money, and counting all this as a contribution to the life of the Church. An alternative way of thinking is to get involved in the life and mission of the Church by volunteering and taking responsibility for the maintenance and the mission of the Church.

What Jesus expects here is to be faithful to His service and to have a firm faith in God until your last breath. There is no need to compromise your faith and its actions with any kind of worldly pleasure – shout it from the rooftops. The passage ends with a clear notification by Jesus: ‘Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.’

May we have that fire of spirit to grow together as people of firm faith?

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 14 June

We are the Church

A reflection on bit of both: pastoral and biblical

How do we see our Church today? Are we missing the worship, fellowship, coffee, meetings, Bible Study, luncheon club, Breakfast Church and social activities that we used to do every week throughout the year?

Gradually we are familiarising ourselves with the culture of being a virtual Church, which cannot be closed by any lockdown or pandemic as long as we meet the Lord anywhere in the Spirit. You might recall people saying that I come to this Church (building) because of this … this … and this. Whatever reason is mentioned is no excuse as reverence is given to the Lord when we come to a place where we worship together, join in fellowship, and receive Holy Communion to commune with the Lord. It is the kind of place where we come to grow in our Spiritual life. Matthew 6 : 21 reminds us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Much attention and energy goes into our church buildings. We invest whole potentials, time and resources in it with a hope that one day we will grow. Our focus deviates from the Mission of the Lord to the maintenance of the building. What happens? Ultimately, as we struggle and then review that the time has come when we can no longer run the Church (i.e. maintenance of the building), then we decide to get rid of it and find green pastures elsewhere. It is a warning to all of us to be alert before arriving at disappointment. Be united and bring solidarity in faith by joining and merging with the people of God called Methodists where you find the Spirit is flowing over.

Recently, the UK Government has announced that all worship places may be opened from 15th June, but only for private prayer and by adhering to social distancing guidelines, etc. We could open, however, our worship place is not accustomed to being used as a place for private prayer as we do not believe in idols or altars where people offer their prayers. God’s presence is everywhere. According to the guidelines provided by the Methodist Church the safeguarding and risk assessment demands are very high. It will require a lot of work to clean and disinfect every footprint and fingerprint of the occupied space after each meeting and activity. This raises so many questions and some of them are unanswered. In this kind of situation we need to move forward very wisely and systematically in order to make our places of worship safe for others and for us.

Whatever happens there are so many people out there in need of our saviour Jesus Christ, wanting to know His love and care. It is a testing time to establish, by examining our Spiritual gifts we have, which could be used in serving His people. Church is considered as a place where people are being transformed, and who in turn bring the gospel of Christ into our community and the world. ‘Not only Black, but all lives matter’ for us and we should oppose any crime of hate and strive for a just community.

Matthew 9 : 37-38 NRSV

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

These are questions for our self-meditation: Are we ready to respond to the call?

May the dear Lord fill us with His Spirit, and use us as labourers in His service.

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 7 June

Trinity Sunday

God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy  Spirit

“May Almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

According to the Christian calendar, the first Sunday after Pentecost Sunday is observed as Trinity Sunday. It is a week after Pentecost, to acknowledge the understanding of God in Trinity.

The term ‘Trinity’ is not itself found in the Bible. Tertullian (before 200 AD) wrote for the first time: ‘The mystery of the economy of God is still guarded, which distributes the Unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, they are three not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect. Yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, in as much as He is one God, from whom these degrees, forms, and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’

Most Christians believe there is only one God, who is experienced as three persons, also known as the Trinity. These three persons are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A key source of authority for affirming this belief is the Nicene Creed, which is a statement widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day Iznik, Turkey) by the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

Let us understand the Trinity through the scripture: In the gospel of John (1 : 1-3) it begins with the existence of God and connects with the creation story, ‘ln the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.’ What has come into being?

Jesus, on his farewell, commissioning the disciples (Matthew 28 : 16-20): Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The words of Jesus that all authority has been given to him echo the kind of cosmic picture in passages such as Daniel 7 : 13-14.

Paul mentioned in his letter (2 Corinthians 13 : 13) his understanding of the Trinity in “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” which is used widely as the sharing of the grace (Benediction) especially in the Methodist Church.

Most importantly, do we believe in God? Do we have faith through Jesus Christ? Do we feel the presence of the Holy Spirit? If we have the answers then we believe God in Trinity.

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 31 May

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2 : 1–14

Dear Friends, this Sunday we celebrate Pentecost or the birthday of the Church. On this day, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s mission is completed and the New Covenant is inaugurated. This first happened nearly 2000 years ago, done by God himself, through the power of sending down the Holy Spirit upon 120 believers (Acts 1 : 15). It was known, in addition, as the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise, the omnipresence of God, when Jesus promised to His disciples that He would ask God to send the helper / assistant / comforter (as translated in various versions of The Bible).

If we consider the history of it – it was the day of Shovuot (shovu – ot) which means ‘fiftieth’ in Hebrew. In Jewish tradition the fiftieth day after the Passover was observed as Shovuot. Shovuot is known as the ‘festival of weeks’ (Deuteronomy 16 : 9‑10) and also the ‘festival of harvest’ where the offering of the first fruit was brought. It has a double significance, agriculturally and spiritually. Agriculturally, it marks the all-important wheat harvest in the land of Israel (Exodus 34 : 22), and spiritually it commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the ‘Torah’ to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai – although in the Biblical text the association is not explicit between the giving of the Torah and Shovuot. Shovuot was also the first day on which individuals could bring the Bikkurim (first fruit). The Bikkurim comprised the seven varieties for which the land of Israel is praised: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

As we ponder upon the last phase of Jesus’ ministry, from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem until His Ascension to heaven, we note that He was preparing and showing His authority and what He was intending to do next. It leads us to understand how He transformed the whole set-up of the Jewish tradition. In his Passover meal, he transformed it into a Sacrament of ‘Holy Communion’, or what we call the ‘Lord’s Supper’. He himself became the High Priest anointed by God on His Baptism at the River Jordan. Therefore, He assigned the priesthood to all – and that is what we believe as Methodists. Let us see how it worked:

Firstly, according to Mark 14 : 63 / Matthew 26 : 62‑65, Caiaphas, the high priest tore his garment in order to construct a false case against Jesus before he was sent to Pilate. Here, the priest loses his priesthood according to Leviticus 21 : 10: ‘The priest who is exalted above his fellows, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the Vestments, shall not dishevel his hair, nor tear his Vestments’.

Secondly, the curtain of the temple becoming torn apart at the time Jesus died (Matthew 27 : 51) means, ‘no more sacrifice’, and this place, which was restricted for some has become open now for everyone.

Thirdly, Jesus’ promise that he will ask his Father to send the Holy Spirit is fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when anointment came in the form of the Spirit of Fire and transformed the lives of 120 people who had been asked to assemble in a room at Jerusalem. Three thousand people believed on that day and were baptised. This is what happens when you encounter the Holy Spirit. Your life transforms and you have no way of stopping yourself from going where the Spirit leads you. May we too experience that encounter with the Holy Spirit and transform ourselves to go out by being in the mission of Jesus and taking his words to the ends of the world.

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 24 May

Ascension/Aldersgate Sunday

This week we have two major events to consider in our reflection. It was Ascension Day last Thursday (21st May), and on Sunday (24th May) Methodists celebrate Aldersgate Sunday.

Ascension Day: As you know, traditionally, Ascension Day is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday, which is a Thursday, and commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven. Jesus and his disciples went to Mount Olive near Jerusalem and they were the actual witnesses as Jesus ascended to heaven.

Aldersgate Sunday: On 24th May 1738 John Wesley unwillingly attended worship at a Moravian ‘Religious Society’ meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. It was during this service that he felt his “heart strangely warmed” as he experienced God’s love in a most personal and life-giving way. Until then he had known God in his mind, but not in his heart. Now he understood the value of a personal experience of God that would bring assurance of salvation to the believer.

It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate the work of God in our lives, and to reflect on how we should respond to everything that God has given us, like Jesus, in his pastoral prayer in John 17, submitting his task after fulfilling the purpose He came to this world.

John 17 : 1-11, where Jesus commends himself to God is an eye opener for us in how he relates himself to God and His association with Him from the very beginning of creation. His prayer is a kind of report to God with humble submission:

Concern – I pray for the people, whom You have given to me.

Introduction – People, who know you and your word.

Submission – What belonged to me belongs to you.

Security – I am about to leave in a while, may they be protected in your name.

John Wesley and his brother Charles both encountered the Holy Spirit that night with the result that that which they had been practising became clearer – understanding their faith and salvation and the meaning of serving God. Their lives were transformed. I know of a few people who have shared similar testimony: they have been reading the Bible since childhood, attending worship regularly on a Sunday and know most of the stories and teachings of the Bible, but, when they became frustrated, and their faith was tested in time of trouble and distress, tried to push themselves off the track of faith that they were following. Then some magic happened and they experienced a big change in their lives: The Word became clearer and understandable and they started living those words in their lives.

We may have the similar or different experiences in our world. Remember: we should pay the price of having faith in Jesus by joining Him in his mission, which may happen to anyone after they encounter the Holy Spirit.

Ultimately, we all need to submit ourselves to God. May the Spirit of the Lord be upon you!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 17 May

The promise of the Holy Spirit

John 14 : 15–21

Todays’ reflection is taken from the Gospel of John Chapter 14, verses 15 to 21. I would encourage you to read this passage first as then it will be better to understand the depth of the passage. Here it tells us about the promise of the Holy Spirit.

As you might read it, you will acknowledge that it helps us to draw our attention when Jesus promises his disciples that God will send the Spirit of truth, who will be with them forever. To understand the Spirit of truth we need to understand about the Triune (Trinitarian) God.

As believers, we have a heavenly inheritance as promised to us. Heaven is a full presence of Triune God: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Heaven is our relationship and Communion with God. Jesus doesn’t rely on anyone and assures that He himself will pursue to His Father - “I will ask my Father, and He will give you another Advocate/Helper/Comforter” (v 16). There is a very general word in English ‘paraclete’ (the paraclete is the one who guides, counsels and consoles us, and speaks up on our behalf) and is the transliteration of the Greek word ‘parakletós’. Kletós is a form of a verb Kaleó that means ‘to call’ and ‘para’ means alongside – like ‘parallel’ – ‘to call somebody alongside’. In English, we have only one word ‘another’ to express two different meanings. In Greek, there are two words for ‘another’: ‘Heteros’ means another of a different kind and then they have the word ‘Àllos’ which means another of the exact same kind. Jesus uses ‘I will give you állos Paracletos’ which means I will give you another (helper) exactly like I am; a helper, who knows everything and has all the answers to clarify your doubts and confusions; especially when we read the Bible and we do not understand then the ‘helper’ guides us.

Jesus is unfolding His promises to those who love Him and keep His commandments. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments’’ is a promise to those who are the believers, the disciples, or in today’s context are the true Christians. “The true Christians are those who love and obey my commandments. Those who love me will be loved by my Father and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

You are the temple of God, you are the body of Christ and you are the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit; the inner-self of our being which is beyond our mortal body has a relationship with God in Spirit. ‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth’ (John 4:24).

I pray, may His Spirit fill our lives, and we may continue to feel His presence with us forever.

With every blessing

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 10 May

Jesus: the way, the truth and the life

John 14 : 1–14

If you have attended funerals you might recall that this is one of the most popular passages used in the funeral service. I cannot remember how many times I have used this passage in my ministry but it is many times. I find the passage to be quite consoling with the assurance to have firm faith, which allows us to believe in God. This is especially so at this time of lockdown where providing pastoral care and consoling the bereaved is more challenging due to Government guidelines regarding social distancing and that funerals may be attended by no more than six people.

Let us read the Bible from John 14 : 1‑14: In brief, the whole passage provides us with the understanding that Jesus’ assurance encourages belief in God by the hope that it is not the end of life, but that there is life after death, revealing everlasting life or, in one word, ‘eternity’.

We would be sailing in the same boat as Thomas by asking the question: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Although Thomas sounds either innocent and ignorant, or curious to know the address, it helps us to learn from Jesus what He reveals further:

Then, Jesus said to Thomas: “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.”

Here Jesus reveals and establishes his relationship with God as the Father and the Son. It means Jesus knew exactly where the Father lives.

The curiosity does not end here but goes further with a question from Philip: “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus replies in frustration by asking a question: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’”

Referring to the words of the Old Testament, ‘I have created you in my own image’ (Genesis 1: 27), Jesus reflects the image of God by saying: “Whoever have seen me has seen the Father.” He is the messenger who shows ‘the way’ to God. ‘The way to God’ is going to Him without Sin as Jesus has washed our Sin by sacrificing himself upon the cross. He who claims to believe in Him that He is ‘the truth’; ‘Truth’ remains forever, it is imperishable and immortal; it shows the existence of Jesus is there from the beginning to the end and He is ‘the giver of life’.

Do we then believe in Him and are satisfied with the direction given by Jesus?

Keep up your faith during the time of trouble.

May God bless and be gracious to us.

Amen.

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 3 May

I am the Door

John 10 : 1–10

Here Jesus speaks in a parable using an image set in a local context: the relationship between a shepherd and the flock. He represents the characteristics of the shepherd, and establishes the fact that the shepherd knows his sheep and sheep know the voice of their shepherd and follow him. He also describes the behaviour of the thief: that he does not come through the correct door and also explains the purpose of his coming: to steal and kill and destroy.

Jesus says: “I am the door of the sheepfold”

In the Old Testament God is presented as a shepherd (Psalm 23 – ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…’). A good, caring shepherd is even more vivid: it was the custom for the shepherd to sleep at the entrance of the sheepfold. In other words, the watchful shepherd was, literally, ‘the door’. We can relate this to our present situation in this lock-down period: staying at home is safe. And, Jesus is our door protecting us from all dangers.

Jesus in His ministry has used ‘I am’ frequently to establish his connection with God. In the conversation Moses had with God, God says to Moses: “I am who I am”. Jesus uses ‘I am’, like: … the door … the Shepherd … the bread of life … the living water … the light of the world, etc. He places emphasis on ‘truly, I say to you’. This means that He affirms with assurance that what He is stating is true and going to happen; whether you believe it or not.

Jesus has come so that we might have life and have it abundantly

This is a very important statement; which has a deeper sense of God’s expression of how much He loves us. He has humbled himself and come down to our level, lived and showed us the way to be His people. You may ask yourself: “What is life? Where is God in my life?” Are we not attracted towards the attractions set by the thieves of the world, who at the end will kill us and destroy the life which Jesus offers? Do we listen to Jesus like a sheep and follow him as His disciples?

I hope that this gives you an opportunity to ponder your own life and the situation you are going through. You may find the presence of Jesus in your life and will believe that He is there to give us life in abundance. We need not fear death but believe in the one who is the giver of life.

I hope that this gives you an opportunity to ponder your own life and the situation you are going through. You may find the presence of Jesus in your life and will believe that He is there to give us life in abundance. We need not fear death but believe in the one who is the giver of life.

God never forces us to decide what He wants from us. He always gives us a chance to be His people and Him our God. He is the one who gives life abundantly. He is the one who expresses His love and care by sacrificing His life for the remission of our sins. We need to open our eyes to see Him, and open our ears to listen to Him, and follow the path he set for us. No one can enter into the Kingdom of God without Jesus because He is the door and our redeemer.

Jesus is the door, waiting for us if we listen to Him and follow Him.

God Bless!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 26 April

A stranger on the way to Emmaus

Luke 24 : 13–25

What happened after the death of Jesus?

It was a time of silence in the area. People knew and had talked about Jesus of Nazareth and his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, after he had raised Lazarus from the dead. This had been just before the festival of Passover.

The empty tomb

On the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion He was raised from the dead. Although His tomb was found to be empty the general public remained completely unaware of it; in fact, only the disciples, Mary Magdalene and the Roman authorities knew that the body had gone.

On the way to Emmaus

After the festival was over Cleopas was with one other person walking back to their village at Emmaus. During their journey they were discussing Jesus and how he had been crucified when they encountered a stranger. The stranger then spoke of the books of Moses and the prophets, reminding them that “the Messiah will suffer, die and will rise again in glory”. Their conversation was so intense that they did not notice the time passing and soon reached the village.

They offered hospitality to the stranger, asking him to stay with them as it was already growing dark. He accepted and they sat for a meal where they recognised the stranger by the way he took bread, blessed it and gave it to them. At the very moment their eyes were opened to recognize that the stranger was Jesus, He disappeared.

It’s a reminder to us: we are no better than the disciples who were so close to Jesus for the period of three and a half years while He was doing His ministry. Perhaps we get the impression from the disciples that somehow they failed to recognize Jesus and believe that he had risen from the dead.

Are we afraid of talking with a stranger?

Are we afraid of inviting a stranger to our home and providing them hospitality?

We live in a world where we feel insecure. It might be a great challenge to live our faith by being in our own state and exercising it to the people who are in need. However, this is a time of uncertainty: we do not know when and how we may encounter Jesus until He meets us again. So, let the good work continue, be generous, be kind, bear each other with patience and hold each other in our continuous prayers.

May God bless you!

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Easter Sunday 12 April

A brief reflection on Easter

Based on Matthew 28 : 7

After progressing through Holy Week, observing Maundy Thursday when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and Good Friday, the day of His crucifixion, we celebrate the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ.

Easter is the message of God’s power revealed – beyond the imagination and the expectation of human beings.

“The Tomb is empty; He is not there!” God has demonstrated to those people who hold power that only he has the power to conquer death.

Let us remind ourselves of some of the things that Jesus did. In your own situations you may consider the purpose behind these acts and events:

  • Turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana
  • Healing the lepers
  • Feeding the five thousand
  • Casting out demons
  • Raising Lazarus from the dead
  • His crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven

These events provide more than enough evidence for us to believe that Jesus, who lived on this earth as a common person, had extraordinary gifts. He came to fulfil the purpose of God so that we could believe in God through Him and be saved.

Let us go through the incidents that actually happened on that day:

  • Earthquake
  • The stone is rolled away
  • The Angel appears as a messenger of God
  • Mary Magdalene is the first person to reach the tomb

At the tomb Mary received this message as written in Matthew 28 : 7:

“Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him.”

The disciples have seen Jesus many times before. Now they see the resurrected Jesus after his death. They go to Galilee and see Jesus. Is this not enough evidence for us to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead?

In our own context let us consider: How do we see Jesus? Do we know Him?

The answer is quite simple: “No, I haven’t seen Jesus in person like the disciples or the people of the time saw Him”. However, when we say “I ‘know’ Him” we should be aware that this has a very deep sense. ‘Knowing Jesus’ facilitates our participation with Jesus in His ministry; it allows us to believe in the sacrifice of suffering and to receive salvation. This is the whole understanding of God in sending Jesus to the people of world.

We can believe and be saved.

We can hope that it is not an end but a beginning of a journey to that place where Jesus welcomes all in his Kingdom. Can we take the responsibility to carry out the message, as it was given to Mary Magdalene, “Go quickly and tell the people to see Jesus and know Him”.

Prayer

May His continuous blessing be upon us.
His assurance gives us hope.
His expression of Love binds us together.
His strength protects us from all fear and danger.
We may feel his presence throughout our lives by keeping our faith in him.

Amen

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Palm Sunday 5 April

A Message on Palm Sunday

Dear Friends

This could be a unique event: Christians around the world in their own isolated situations celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which we usually call ‘Palm Sunday’.

The crowd welcomed Him by spreading palm branches and their cloaks in His path and shouting: “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest!” It was a quite usual practice for Jews who travelled to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover to sing praises taken from Psalms 113 to 118 which are known as ‘Hallel’, which means, ‘Praise God’. These had been used in the past to welcome the King as a victorious conqueror on return from battle.

A very popular chorus that we may have learned during our days in Sunday School:

This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made

is taken from Psalm 118 : 24.

Psalm 118 : 26 says:

Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord!

Those who greeted Him were convinced He was ‘the Messiah’, ‘the deliverer’ or ‘anointed one’.

The Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 21 specifies that Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem upon a colt fulfils the prophecy of Zechariah (Zech 9:9). Riding on a colt is a symbolic presentation of a noble King who has come to establish peace. Jesus’ action is an open declaration that He is the righteous Davidic Messiah, for the prophecy says: “Your King is coming to you”.

Do we recognise Jesus as our King who came to this world to establish peace and His Kingdom in our heart? Or, are we still struggling with the question: “Where is God in this (our) situation?”

Remember, we are here to praise His name by believing in Him despite the situation in which we find ourselves; He is our strength and refuge. He is our Messiah.

Hallel (Praise God)!

Prayer

I pray for you all who are struggling at home with financial problems, lack of support, loneliness, ill health or are in fear and suffering anxiety. May God be your guard and strength. May His Spirit fill you with His joy and love. I pray for those who, with great courage, are helping others and thus find themselves vulnerable; especially those in the NHS and Police, pastoral visitors and practical support volunteers.

May we all find Peace within us.

Amen

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents


Sunday 29 March

A reflection: Hope in God

Due to Government and the Methodist Church instructions we will not be meeting at Church for some time and so I have prepared this short time of reflection: Thinking about Hope in God.

Hope in God

What is Hope?

I looked it up it my dictionary:

Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.

In short, Hope is belief in given assurance !

The Gospel of John emphasizes various aspects of Jesus’ ministry. John was a disciple who was quite close to Jesus. He witnessed Jesus’ ministry of Teaching, Preaching and Healing very closely.

Of Jesus’ many miracles there is one in which he brought Lazarus to life after he had been dead and buried in a tomb for four days. This particular miracle was performed in front of the people and Lazarus’ friends and family so that they could believe, and it provided a testimony for others who could then believe by hearing about this event.

In Believing it is very important to have Hope. Jesus prepared the people and his disciples for his resurrection. If you want to know “Is there life after death?” then you can believe through all those events.

Assurance: You may not have hope unless you have assurance. Jesus assured that:

I am the way, the truth and the life; no one can enter into the Kingdom of God without me.

We are going through a very challenging time. Fear is all around. Our Government is devising ways for us to be safe and protected. I believe that we are taking all precautionary measures and keeping everyone in our prayers. We are reminded of the assurance of Jesus to all, and who gave hope to the world that this is not the end but that there is life afterwards.

May God bless you and keep you safe as we have Hope in Him.

Prayer

Romans 15 : 13

May the God of Hope fill you
With all joy and peace in believing,
So that by the power of the Holy spirit
You may abound in Hope.

Amen

Rev Ajay Singh

Back to page contents