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.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Doors and Gateways

Mdina -The Old Walled Capital of Malta by Paul Collings

Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, O gates,

And be lifted up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

Who is the King of glory?

The Lord strong and mighty,

The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates,

And lift them up, O ancient doors,

That the King of glory may come in!

David appeals to Jerusalem to make room for the King of glory to enter the city. Today, when a prominent dignitary like a royal person visits the nation's capital, a flurry of activity precedes his arrival. Traffic is cleared, flags are hoisted, and security is enhanced. Every precaution is taken to welcome the distinguished visitor. Jerusalem's gates were the site where official business was transacted. David's call to the gates was a poetic summons to the whole city of Jerusalem to welcome the King of glory. 

Tradition suggests this psalm is connected to when David brought the ark of the covenant back from the home of Obed-edom. The ark that represented God's presence was about to enter Jerusalem. When it had been seized by the Philistines, Eli's daughter-in-law bore a son and called him Ichabod, saying, "'The glory has departed from Israel!' because the ark of God had been captured". Now that the ark was about to enter Jerusalem, the glory of the King of heaven and earth was returning.

It used to be socially acceptable to just "drop by" someone’s house for a visit. That’s becoming more and more difficult. In Faith Popcorn’s Dictionary of the Future, she offers two new terms that illustrate this. One is the word neo-fortress, which describes an architectural style many new homeowners are choosing.

A neo-fortress is a large imposing structure that says "stay away" to would-be "drop in" guests. Neo-fortresses are intimating, castle-like houses that say to people "you are not welcome here." The second, related term is privatopia. A privatopia is a gated, secured, subdivision of neo-fortresses. Apparently, email and cell phones have made us so accessible that in our loss of privacy, we think we need such structures.

"I hope I’m not intruding." How many times have we heard or said these words? But there are moments in life when a Christian is called to intrude and to keep intruding. Why? Because we have an intrusive God. Jesus was the biggest intruder in all of history. His birth, the Word made flesh, was The Great Intrusion-of eternal into the temporal, the divine into the human, the spiritual into the material.

The entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, testifies to the power of an intrusive God to break into our busy and crowded existence with the news of God’s amazing grace and love.

God of secret purposes and extravagant blessings,

we come to praise you.

We come because we want to,

we sing our songs because we are glad to,

we pray for your grace because we need to,

and we ask for the love of Christ in our hearts

because without it we are a dead loss.

Please lift every shutter within our mind,

and open every door within our soul,

that you, the Lord of glory, the God of countless hosts, may come in.

Through Christ Jesus, the joy of loving hearts.  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.