Posted in Letter
As I was checking the date I realised that it is 15 years since the London bombings on the 7th July.
A tragic event which had a significant impact on our nation and our capital city. As I write this letter we have just passed the 100th day since Boris Johnson announced the lock down because of covid 19. An even more significant event which has dramatically changed all our lives. Both of these were ‘unexpected’ events and I was reminded of the video clip Graham played at church a few years ago ‘The unexpected Christmas’.
Even in January we could not have anticipated the events of the last 3 months and we still can’t really understand what the next three will bring. We hear people talking about ‘getting back to normal’ or the ‘new normal’. Businesses are wondering when and how they can restart. People are concerned about whether they will still have a job to go to. Even as this is written there has been a wave of redundancies announced around the country. Schools have still not fully reopened as many of the nation’s children face 6 months without proper schooling. Of further concern is the news that a spike in infection rates in Leicester means that city has had to reintroduce some of the lock down measures just at a time that pubs and restaurants are planning to open this weekend.
When I listen to the news, I ask the Lord what is he doing in all of this? How does he want me to pray about the situation we face?
I am encouraged as I read scripture and this week I have been drawn to the passage in Jeremiah 29:10-14
This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’
The words were written to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. At the time they must have thought the world as they knew it had come to an end. But through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord was giving them words of hope and encouragement. There would be a future for the people of Israel, a promise of return to Jerusalem that the Lord had plans for them. But in the meantime they were to pray to him and he would listen. They were to seek him, and that when they did, they would find him.
The Lord has plans for the Emmaus Christian Centre, the fellowship and the site. He is calling us to seek him and pray that those plans will be fulfilled. In Amos 3:7 it says ‘Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.’ And John Wesley wrote that ‘God does nothing except through believing prayers’ It may seem to us that we have been asking the Lord to reveal his plans for our church fellowship for many years and the way forward is still not fully clear. The leadership team are working on a series of objectives and priorities, including a time line of when things need to happen in order that we don’t continue to drift.
The most important part that we all need to play is that of prayer. That the Lord will accomplish his will and purposes and that he will make the way clear for us to move forward. And as we pray we should include time to listen to the Lord so we can understand what his plans are. We urge you to set time aside each day in prayer and if the Lord reveals anything to you please share this with the leadership team.
And so we urge you to pray and seek the Lord that he will hear us and respond according to his sovereign will; ‘Thy will be done, thy kingdom come’
Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders