I hope you are all keeping safe and well. A lot of us are housebound and perhaps others are busy in their role as essential staff on duty, and others trying to keep businesses viable.
I am extremely impressed and blessed by the way many activities some have been engaged in so that our churches can still feel part of the Circuit community. My particular thanks to the worship team at Waltham Chase church for the efforts that have been made to prepare and produce a weekly worship service, and for the continuing youth program online.
In this post Easter period, all churches reflect on the appearances of Jesus to the disciples on various occasions. I’m sure that at other times when the disciples were not with Jesus and before Pentecost, they were feeling quite dejected, deserted, vulnerable and even isolated much like we are all feeling at the moment.
A lot of our older members may have a promise box. Joy and I obtained one when we got married and it has been in occasional use ever since. I also inherited one from my great aunt Florrie Wheeler. It was so well used, all of the scrolls were in a complete crumpled jumble. The main point of the promise box is to remind us of all the promises that can be found in the Bible. Most are uplifting and can quell anxious thoughts and fears. God has never promised that we would not have difficult times, but he did promise he would always be with us and go through the difficult times with us. One of the promises that come to my mind is:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”John ch 4 v27
The story of Elijah is such an interesting one (1 Kings Ch19) he had just destroyed the prophets of Baal when God demonstrated his all-consuming power by burning up the sacrifice, the stones, wood and water but the prophets could not do the same and they were killed. The Kings wife Jezebel then frightened Elijah, she put a “Contract on his life”. He ran away and hid in a cave in Mount Horeb. God appeared to him there, but not in the wind, fire or earthquake, but in the still small voice. God gave him re assurance, that he was not the only one of God’s Followers, but also gave him a new assignment. We all need God’s reassurance too, particularly now, but has He got an assignment for you as well.
When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well there was a debate about the water of life. Jesus introduced the woman to Spiritual Values. She asked, “where should we worship God in Jerusalem or Samaria”? Jesus’s response was a spiritual one. Worship can only come from the inside of each one of us, we must worship God in spirit and truth, these are the true worshippers that God seeks. (John 4 v 24)
I am sure many of you have searched the Internet for Christian input, uplift and reassurance. I have too. I’ve been amazed by how much I have found. One I am particularly encouraged by is the “daily reflections from Steve Wild” on YouTube normally about 3 minutes. There is one about “Touch” that brought me to tears on the 18th April and a response on the 19th. I remember when he visited our Circuit a few years ago during his Presidential year, I noticed how he could move through the room having reassuring and encouraging conversations with so many people and praying with them.
We often bless each other when we leave church with the Grace. Here is a blessing that I particularly like from the ancient book of Numbers 6 v24. I have often prayed this over my grandchildren : “The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
May He bless and keep each one of you,