Posted in Letter
The old saying ‘a week’s a long time in politics’ is certainly true at the moment.
Last weekend we saw a massive jump in cases of coronavirus and we knew the Government had to take some additional action. Then on Tuesday a Government minister admitted in the House of Commons that a bill they were putting forward about the Brexit agreement would be breaking international law. And on Wednesday we woke up to hear the headlines that social gatherings of more than 6 people were now banned except for school and work. Further detail was to follow.
That sent Graham and me into a tiz. What did that mean for the church, would we still be able to meet on Sundays? When I checked the internet for more information it just wasn’t there yet – more details to follow was the best I could find at 6.30 am. As I write this letter on Wednesday evening I have not had time to listen to Boris’ briefing but earlier on in the day I did find a tweet from the Archbishop of Canterbury who had been reassured by Government that this change was about social gatherings and would not affect church gatherings.
What a relief! But it put me in mind of Proverbs 3:1-6 and especially 5 & 6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
I have been asking the question of myself and I ask it of us all, ‘Where do we put our trust? Where do we go to make sense of this crazy situation we are living in?’
I am so glad that I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; I believe that God is God and that he is in control of all circumstances; that the situation we find ourselves in was not a surprise to God and he knows the answers, including to the questions we haven’t even thought to ask yet.
Graham and I read a Bible reflection each morning. The theme of this month takes extracts from a book called ‘A city without a church’ by Henry Drummond, based on Revelation 21:22 where there is no temple in the new Jerusalem. It seems so fitting to be reflecting on what a city looks like with no church building at the moment when many churches are unable to open and fellowships are needing to find other ways of engaging in corporate worship and think again about what it means to be church.
Our daily reflection for this morning said:
In all seriousness I make this definite practical proposal: believe in your city. What else? In Jesus Christ. What about Him? That He wants to make your city better; that is what He would be doing if He lived there. What else? Believe in yourself – that you, even you, can do some of the work which He would like done, and that unless you do it, it will remain undone. How are you to begin? As Christ did. First He looked at the city; then He wept over it; then He died for it.
What is it that Jesus wants us to do? As individuals? As part of the Emmaus Christian Centre? As a leadership team we have been praying and seeking the Lord’s guidance for what he wants us to be doing and some of our thoughts are shared in the enclosed letter which we have sent to Southern Synod.
As we look at the situation of our city, and especially Chatham, we can certainly ask the Lord that he gives us his tears; for the hurting, the lost and the broken. The tears are our prayers and our prayers are tears. We may not be being called to die physically but we can choose to die to self; our dreams and priorities. And instead ask the Lord how he wants us to serve him on behalf of our city.
Jesus loves Chatham and the people of Chatham. Do we? If you struggle with this then ask the Lord to help you to love our city. Consider how you speak about it. Do you use negative phrases or do you bless it? Do you pray for the Holy Spirit to move and transform people’s lives? It was in a shopping centre very similar to the Pentagon where I finally stopped running away from God and responded to his invitation. Because of the faithfulness of one man sharing his story and those who were supporting him in prayer.
We need evangelists but we also need intercessors. If ‘all I can do is pray’ then that is enough for the Lord who said the widow gave more than the rich people because she gave all she had.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
Graham and Katy Hill, Local Church Leaders
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