A new national lockdown - a response
(from the notices at the 10.30 service on 1st November).
As you will have heard by now, the Government are introducing a month long lockdown that comes into affect on Thursday. This has come as a real blow to many of us and we might well be feeling despondent.
But we have a God who understands - who loves us - and is in charge all of this and will be using it to his good purposes. The Psalm I had chosen for this afternoon's service is Psalm 63.
Clearly the Psalmist is experiencing a time of trouble and the song begins as though it were a lament
1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you,
But soon it becomes a song of confident expectation:
2 I have …. beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
The confidence is that whatever he/the people are experiencing …they will be able to continue to worship the Lord - our highest privilege. Indeed the Philippians are facing troubles and in today’s reading (Philippians 3:1-11) Paul calls them to rejoice in the LORD, which is to know the Lord and expressing that. This pandemic is not beyond our Lord’s power. He is Sovereignly in control. He loves us, and continues to invite us to worship him - whatever the circumstance. He will use this for his glory so we pray, asking what he want’s us to learn and to draw close to him.
This lockdown also means there will be no afternoon service or indeed moving to the morning service until the beginning of December. We will meet as normal this afternoon and we will be sharing in the Supper. This week I wrote to you about our plans to move away from Zoom and meet in-person in the mornings and live-stream to those unable to gather. However, for the time being we stand down – and we do so with patience, and trust in the One who holds all things in his hands.
And we gather now as God’s people is a demonstration of our joyous trust in him For (v.7) he is our help.
He has shown us most potently in the sending of his Son to Save us. So we cling to him, because v.8. He will uphold us.
A prayer for today:
“Father we thank you that you are in control - that nothing surprises you and nothing Is beyond you. You know the times and seasons. Lord thank you for your rescue of us from sin - and calling us to be your children. Thank you that nothing can separate us from your love. You love is better than life. Keep us in the shadow of your wing this day – as you have promised. Keep us mindful of you – rejoicing and trusting. And Keep us ……until we see you – and will be forever satisfied. In Jesus name. Amen.