There is no doubt that we are living in strange and difficult times. The COVID-19 virus is certainly a serious concern. And, it seems certain that more people will be affected over the following weeks.
First and foremost, we want to express our sympathies to everyone who has lost loved ones through it, and to pray healing for everyone who has contracted it.
We have to make large adjustments to our lives at this time – social contact is severely restricted, and we need to be particularly mindful of those who are on their own and not able to see anyone for many weeks. There are many people who will be extremely lonely.
It is an opportunity to show love and care to others – even for those who are in isolation. it may be possible to do some shopping for them and leave it on the doorstep. I know that speaking to someone on the phone is not like face to face contact, but we can keep in touch with each other that way too.
Social media, in many ways is a mixed blessing – there is a lot of scaremongering as well as common sense advice. We need to be wise in sifting through what is helpful and what is not. Many churches are making use of technology to facilitate prayer meetings and Sunday services, so that people can watch at home.
I will be bringing a short Youtube message each Sunday morning while we cannot meet (details coming soon), and there will be resources here on our church website as well.
The important thing to remember in all of this is that God is in control of the whole situation. And we can completely trust in him. The words that begin Psalm 46 are a tremendous encouragement to us:
God is our refuge and strength,
An ever – present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear.
That last sentence is key – therefore we will not fear. We see many people at this time who are panicking and afraid. Let's pray they come to know the One who can be a refuge and strength in times of trouble. We as Christians don’t need to fear, and we can share that with others. It is a good opportunity to pray that this situation we are in will make people stop and think and put their trust in God.
As I said earlier, we can use this time to be good neighbours to each other, but also, we can spend time reading the Scripture and other good and helpful books. There are many resources on the internet for us to use, with discernment.
We are approaching the Easter season. And we remember the the victory Jesus achieved in his death and resurrection – victory over sin and death. Because of that we can know for certain that God is indeed our refuge and strength. And so, let’s go forward with the confidence that gives us.
With love and prayers, Pastor Richard
Love in Jesus, Pastor Richard