Dear Church Family,
May I first thank you for your prayers and support over these last three weeks following my eye surgery. It has gone far better than anticipated and I am very grateful for God’s grace.
Following changes to the government’s advice, the Church of England have outlined a three stage plan for reopening church buildings. We are at Stage 1 (ministers are allowed to enter the building and may record services). Stage 2 (opening for private prayer) and Stage 3 (carefully regulated public worship). The timing of 2 and 3 is yet unknown, but appropriate planning for these further stages can begin. However, we need to face the reality that we are not likely to be back in the church building any time soon and I know just how hard this is.
Patience is always hard and it makes me want to complain! In my additional ‘lockdown’ following the eye op I had time to listen to Habakkuk who was dealing with a crisis in his own time and had to wait for the Lord to answer his complaints. The Lord said to him, ‘For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.’ (Habbakuk 2:3)
My impatience is often about me wanting to be in control of a situation so I can get on with my plans and my agenda, and like Habakkuk I have to be reminded that God’s in control and he speaks of an end that will not prove false. It may be at times difficult to understand what the Lord is doing and why he delays but we can take great comfort that his plans and promises can be trusted for an ‘appointed time’. Timing is not my strong point but I am glad it’s God’s: ‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly’ (Romans 5.6).
On Sunday we will be continuing the ‘Growing in Discipleship’ series in Mark’s gospel looking at when Jesus walked on water – you might like to read the passage beforehand Mark 6:45-56. I recognise those who do not have access to the online service will receive the recording later – thank you all for your patience!
Grace and peace to you, Eddie