These days remind me of Israel's journey through the wilderness. It seems all the regular patterns of our lives have been shifted just a few degrees. For some of us that small shift has brought some hardship and challenge. It has also brought opportunity for caring involvement with our family, friends, and neighbours. That caring stands close to the heart of the gospel we share as a faith community. It can be expressed simply and still produce remarkable examples of Grace. Thanks for all that you are doing to make a positive difference!
Our leadership team has decided that we will open the Church doors next Sunday and have a regular service of worship. The building will be fully cleaned with disinfectant. We will also take good care to respect safe distance and to avoid making physical contact. If it adds to your comfort level, we encourage you to wear a small face mask and avoid touching your face with your hands. I am sure you have heard all of this many times. Even so, it does not hurt to be reminded as things start turning towards normal. The key element in all of this is respect for the well being of others.
The texts informing our service are:
Psalm 86:1-7 - Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.
Romans 6:1b-11 - Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 10:24-39 - "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! "So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.