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Moreton Hall Letter - August 2020

In my last letter to you I spoke about frustration.  I hope that advice on how to be aware of it and combat it was useful.  One of the features of frustration is lack of hope.  Sometimes in our lives there does not seem to be very much to live for.  Just now some institutions and even the beliefs we normally hold dear seem to have failed us and our confidence in them is low.
It is a common belief that we cannot trust the newspapers and our politicians.  But, if we want to live in a just and fair society we need good politicians and a trustworthy media.  People who enter these careers need to have the highest moral standards and a desire to work with integrity in all they do. We need to pray for these people so they continue to do a good job and to improve if they can. 
We have a part to play because cannot expect to be spoon-fed the truth. We must learn how to discern, and understand what we are told. It is my experience that most people in Britain seem to have these skills naturally.  Often as a nation we are wiser than we think.
However, for all of this to work we have to have hope.  What do we put our hope in?  What are we looking forward to?  What is it we can definitely trust in all circumstances?
My study of the scriptures shows me that the people in the Old Testament, the tribe of Israel, did not put their trust in their laws, their leaders, their armies nor even the Temple. Their trust was placed in God Himself – the living reality dwelling with them. This God took them out of slavery, across the desert into the Promised Land. He fought on their behalf and established their nation.  He is a loving God who wanted to share His life with them. This meant they had to be as loving obedient, trustworthy, honourable and gracious as He was. 
Part of that hope was to look back to what He had done in the past, and trust what He would do in the future.  All their sacrifices and prayers were looking forward to a time when they would be completely forgiven and when Heaven and Earth would be rejoined and the Kingdom of God would be established in physical form. 
All that began to happen when Jesus Christ came to Earth as the Son of God.  By teaching and healing, living and dying, then rising again, He showed us the way back to God.  So my hope for now is based on Jesus Christ, who came and did all this for humanity and also for me. I am sure He hears my prayers and has paid the price for my wrongdoing. 
It is not just that I have faith in something that happened two thousand years ago.  I have faith in something that is reality now.  I have met Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit in my heart.  He is a person who dwells with me day by day.  He helps me, advises me, leads me and protects me.  My hope is in a living reality, which not only I experience, but many others around the world do too.  Just recently we began doing an Alpha course on-line.  Much to my amazement we had people joining the course from across Suffolk and four who live in Spain. Despite the distance they have found that Jesus Christ is real and now have hope.
Also we have hope for the future too as God who loves us and cares for us, will bring us through this present crisis.  Whatever you face – low wages, unemployment, family breakdown, debt, illness, personal crisis of any sort.  He will help and guide us through these times. And one day we will join Him in heaven for ever. 

I do not wish to challenge you, but I do wish to offer you the opportunity of having hope in your life.  When you have hope great things can happen, because God does hear and because He loves, He acts on our behalf. 

With every good wish,

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Ford
Revd. Canon Jonathan Ford.
Minister Christ Church Moreton Hall

Jonathan Ford, 01/05/2019