We know that we are living through unparalleled times. However, for the Christian they should not be unexpected. The Bible teaches us that before the return of Jesus, there will be plagues and pestilence along with war and persecution. Therefore, although I believe we should watch the news with interest, it should never be the source of our comfort.
Now, there is a fascinating passage in the letter to the Hebrews. In chapter 10, verse 25, we read; ‘And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.’ Given that we are not able to gather on a Sunday morning in the way we once did, I believe that this is more important than ever before. The writer makes it clear that meeting with others is not an optional extra for the believer, it is essential. I am delighted that many of you log in on a Sunday morning, spend time in the break-out rooms, meet up in Life Groups and meet through various ministries. Yet, I am really concerned for those who don’t.
As we prepare for the coming months, our hope is that we would continue to gather meaningfully together. For some that will mean physically on a Sunday morning, for others, virtually and for others still, in homes, parks or coffee shops. However, I encourage you to meet together. Furthermore, as you do, try to incorporate three things into your time. Firstly, fellowship. This is not another word for friendship, but a kind of friendship which can only be enjoyed through Jesus. Secondly, read the Bible with one another. To help facilitate this, we have decided to share the Life Group notes via the Google Group. It really would be wonderful to hear about those, not presently in Life Groups, sharing them in other settings. Thirdly, pray together. Indeed, after fellowship and study it would be hard not to!
If you are at present feeling isolated, instead of waiting for someone to contact you, why not log on, pick up the phone or text a friend? In doing so, I am sure that (as the Writer to the Hebrews wrote) you would be a great encouragement. However, if you do need some support, please do let one of the Pastoral Care Team know.