All Saints' Church Doddinghurst

This is our Faith

Jesus Christ was born about 2000 years ago. We know only a little about his early life – the story of his birth in a stable in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, and his growing up in Nazareth, the eldest son of carpenter Joseph and his wife Mary. He had younger brothers and sisters and shared the life of an ordinary home. Then, at the age of thirty he was publicly baptised by John the Baptist and started his ministry, travelling around the country healing sick and troubled people, teaching groups of people in the villages and towns, in the fields and by the lakeside. He chose twelve ordinary men to be his close friends and followers. He had no money, no university degree, wrote no books, had no army or political power. He never travelled more the two hundred miles in any direction. Many people flocked to hear him, to talk with him and learn from him, but because his message of love, mercy and justice for all challenged the religious authorities of the day, he was hated and feared by those in power. He was executed by the cruel death of crucifixion at the age of thirty three and three days later he rose from the dead and appeared to many people. He remains with us now as his Holy Spirit.

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Today Jesus is reverenced as the Son of God by 1500 million people throughout the world. The record of his life and teaching is told in the four Gospels in the Bible. In Britain our churches and cathedrals throughout our land are witnesses of this country's history of faith and they stand to his glory. The service of Holy Communion which he instituted is celebrated each week in our church in Doddinghurst which is dedicated to All Saints, that is to all those Christian people who follow Jesus Christ today and who have done over the centuries.

Jesus Christ taught by what he said, by what he was and by what he did. He taught us to trust in God as a loving and merciful Father and to pray to him in faith for all our needs and in all our difficulties. He taught that we are made in the image of God and are infinitely precious, that we are children of God, filled with his Spirit and so should be patient with one another in love, understanding, respect and forgiveness. He taught us how to live in a spirit of thankfulness to God for all his gifts to us and always to be sensitive to the needs of others, especially those who are sick in body, mind or spirit, who are lonely or distressed. He taught that our life in this world is a testing time and part of a greater, fuller life in God's kingdom. He taught us to follow him in faith, simplicity and love and to try and live by his teaching. He called people to turn from their old selfish ways and to start a new life, respecting and caring for the natural world God has created, and working for justice, truth and freedom for everyone.

God raised Jesus from the dead to prove that Love can never be overcome by death, that goodness is stronger than evil, justice stronger than injustice, love stronger then hatred. Jesus is the human face of God. He came to show us what God is really like, that he is Love itself. The risen Jesus is alive for ever and lives with us now, and each one of us can come to know him, learn from him and be transformed by him into the loving, fulfilled and generous people he has made us to be. He invites each of us now.