Grace and peace to you from God our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
My dear fellow pilgrims in the words of St Paul “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
St Paul was writing to a group of people who were becoming despondent due to the pressures being placed upon them in their Christian walk, and part of his exhortation to them was that they should persevere. He encouraged them to remain faithful to the Gospel that they had received, a Gospel that taught that they were saved by faith and needed to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Chapter 5 vs 6b, he wrote “All that matters is faith, expressed through love.”
And so, I wish to encourage you all today to not lose heart. Throughout biblical history we see the people of God overcoming the loss of their way of life and worship, we see exile, plague, pestilence and war, and modern History is no different. But through it all, there is the demand, the calling, the desire of God’s heart: that we, His faithful people will call on His Name and seek the restoration of God’s people. In a world surrounded by confusion, heresy, fake news, propaganda and hopelessness. In a world that has no solution to its problems of COVID 19, Climate Change, poverty, discrimination, racism, education, we the ambassadors of the Kingdom have great work to do. Throughout the ages, one task that Christians have had is to be faithful and serve God in their circumstances and glorify God from within their trials and challenges.
St Paul teaches us that from within our chains, we can glorify God and witness to Him. Now is the time for us to “not lose heart.”
Like John the Baptist and all the prophets, we need to preach a message of repentance. “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
The Kingdom of God is not a place that we will go to one day, it is the union between God and His Church lived out in the now. As Jesus says in John 15 “I am the vine and you are the branches,” we are to accept that we are rooted in Christ and live in Him and with Him and that through Him we have life. And that life has seasons, in that life we are pruned, and nurtured and bear fruit. In that life, we have growing seasons and seasons of rest and seasons of anticipation and seasons of dying back, but all are filled with hope.
Therefore, today whatever season you find yourself in – do not lose heart, as scripture says, even youths grow faint and weary, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31(KJV)).
We wait upon the Lord by being faithful in prayer, by continuing to love our neighbour, by being faithful in our reading of scripture, faithfully participating in the Sacraments, living simply, giving for the work of God and remaining committed to each other and to the Hope that we have in Christ.
We have made participation in the life of the Church possible on every platform that we know, physically and digitally. I encourage you to re-engage. Draw your strength from God, seek Him in all His holiness.
St James said,” you do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2) so I encourage you to send prayer requests to me, so that the intercessory team can pray for you, for again St James writes: “Is any one of you sick? you should call the elders of the church to pray over you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick. The Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous has great power to prevail. (James 5: 14-16).
Be assured of my love and prayers for you.
Choose faith not fear.