Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Bible Trees

The Sycamore

Today we turn our thoughts towards the sycamore tree and I wonder how many of us find our selves thinking of the Sunday School chorus, “Zacchaeus was a very little man and a very little man was he.” The sycamore tree is mentioned several times throughout the Bible  and the name sycamore can be applied to several types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. The name derives from the ancient Greek συκόμορος (sūkomoros) meaning "fig-mulberry".

Sycamore trees have large serrated lobed leaves that are light-green with three or five lobes. The lobed leaves have prominent veins running to their pointed tip providing good cover to anyone wishing to hide in a sycamores branches.

We all like Zacchaeus, the shy man who did not want to attract any attention, yet ended up getting far beyond his expectations. Jesus could see what he really desired in the depths of his heart, and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house. All who saw this began to grumble, but Jesus faced this criticism by proclaiming that salvation had come to Zacchaeus’ house. Try to imagine yourself present in this scene: and ask, “would I be like the diffident Zacchaeus, like the complaining crowd or like the merciful and strong Jesus?”

In the case of Zacchaeus, note the urgency in Jesus’ exhortation to Zacchaeus – ‘hurry!’ Lord, like Zacchaeus, we gladly welcome you to our house now. Help us become more aware that at all times and in all places we are in your loving presence. Help us to realise that the divine is within every person that we meet, including those whom we may find difficult. Help us to be truly aware that Gods’ love is all-inclusive.

I find it interesting that the wood of a sycamore tree can be used in the making of a yoke.  How appropriate that Jesus also said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Prayer: In my prayer, Lord, I am often like Zacchaeus, making huge efforts to catch a glimpse of you, only to find that you are waiting for me, calling me by name, inviting yourself into my heart. Once I am with you, I find happiness in putting things right, ordering my life, finding the springs of generosity and justice that have been stifled by old habits. Jesus, as I sit here today, you look at me as you looked at Zacchaeus. You call me by name, and invite me to join you. You do not make demands, but in your company I want to change something in myself, and to offer it to you. Amen

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Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.