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.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

An ABC of Faith


We recite the words in the creed, “Incarnate of the Virgin Mary,” but what does that really mean. Incarnation, is a central Christian doctrine that God became flesh, that God assumed a human nature and became a man in the form of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity. Christ was truly God and truly man.

Some also speak of living incarnationally. The basic idea is to live as Jesus lived while he was on earth. Although a simple and accurate definition, it begs several important questions. How did Jesus actually live? What did he actually do? Which specific actions of his are we to imitate? In short, when we say we are to live incarnationally, what does that actually end up looking like in the real world?

Another surprise for me as I looked through the gospel accounts was some glaring omissions. This is not the way we would write the gospels in today’s church. Jesus didn’t say much or even model much behaviour about church/temple attendance or religious duties. There was surprisingly little on swearing or sexual morality, and he said nothing at all about drinking, abortion or homosexuality. Jesus did talk about giving and serving, but those activities were mainly focused on those in need rather than on the church/temple. I’m not saying that these other issues don’t matter at all.  But apparently they are hardly central to living as Jesus did.

The followers of Jesus are called to imitate God in all things (Eph 5:1-2). “You are God’s children whom he loves, so try to be like him. Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God.”This includes imitating his incarnational love in the ways we fully enter into the life of others. We are called to live incarnationally. Jesus reveals that God is a God who is willing to set aside the blessedness of his own domain and become fully present to others. So too, we are called to be a people who are willing to set aside the comforts and conveniences of our own lives and become fully present to others. This is part of what it means to “be imitators of God” and “live in love as Christ loved us and gave his life for us”. As we live incarnationally, God himself is continuing to be embodied in the world.

Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471)

O Lord God, holy Father, be you now and forever blessed. For as you will, so it has been done; and what you do is good. Let your servant rejoice in you, not in myself or in any other. You alone are my true joy. You are my hope and my crown. You are my gladness and my honour. O Lord, what has your servant but what has been received from you without deserving it? Yours are all things that you have given and have made. 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.