“Grace and peace to you from Him who is and was and is to come, and from the seven fold Spirit; before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood;who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” (Rev 1:4b-6)
As St John greeted the Church of Asia Minor so I greet you, the faithful people of God.
This week the Country entered level two of the Lockdown Regulations and for many the idea that really this should be over by now has increased. The pressure on the Church to open its doors is as great as the pressure on the Church to keep its doors closed and continue to “worship on online.” Throughout the world it was at this point that churches became hotspots for reinfections. Our Chapter will meet on Tuesday to discuss this and we will have a combined Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday night to draw up our Parish Response. Much of the struggle continues to be the interpretation of “Church.” Being the Church! Over the last 6 months, no one can deny that the community of St Francis (Parishes of Good Shepherd and St Mary’s) has journeyed daily in worship, prayer, and reflection on God’s word. Every day, we have made available Morning and Evening Prayer, and a morning and evening guided prayer reflection. Every Sunday, worship is available on WhatsApp, ZOOM and Facebook and there is access to YouTube services from Green Anglicans and other parishes in the Province. The Church is alive!
It is the fellowship and the personal interaction that we miss, the sense of place that we miss. It is much harder to consecrate (Make holy) your home into a place of worship than have a sanctified (set aside) place provided for you.
We need to heed the words of St Paul to St Timothy: “Training the body helps a little, but godly living helps in every way. Godly living has the promise of life now and in the world to come. This is a statement that can be trusted and
deserves complete acceptance. Certainly, we work hard and struggle to live a godly life, because we place our confidence in the living God. He is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.” (1 Tim 4:8-10 God’s Word Translation)
We continue to pray for those in our parish who have family infected and who have lost loved ones to the Virus.
Our number one priority as a community is to be a good witness to the world. Adhering to social distancing and maintaining good discipline with compassion and perseverance is essential. Following Jesus’ command to consider what implications our actions have on others before we seek to meet our own desires and needs is critical.
May our God fill you with wisdom and hope and peace and joy.
God be praised.