Dear Church Family
Greetings in the Name of the God who answers to no one, and yet is pleased to answer His children.
Together with you all, we rejoice in the relaxing of some of the restrictions under which we have lived in recent months; most notably, the freedom we now have to gather once again with members of our family, and to fellowship once more with others in the congregation. And, knowing the fear of the Lord, we must respond with thanksgiving to God; for we are mindful that it is all of grace, and not through any of our own doing ‘deserved’. May God season all your renewed interactions with a renewed sense of gratitude for His kindnesses. And if we may make a suggestion – take time with those whom you meet to pray with thanksgiving together (with those family members, or friends whom you no doubt plan to see very soon). Take a few brief minutes to pause…and give glory to God.
Then…consider something else. While many in the church have been relatively unaffected by the economic impact of the lockdown (though some have), the country has not fared so well. And so, pray for our nation, and all in it. You may ask – “But should we focus on such things, when the spiritual needs are dearer by far?” Perhaps the answer is – “So long as we are earnest and regular in our petitions to God for His glory, and the salvation of souls, we need not feel it inappropriate to bring lesser matters before His throne”. For such is the freedom afforded to us as children of God, and such is our duty, as those who love our neighbors. The economy is God’s – to cause to flourish, or to bring into ruination. Therefore, let us pray concerning this matter, and all matters affecting our country.
Furthermore, let us not be surprised if a neglect of prayer prolongs our nation’s suffering, crime, wickedness, impoverishment, corruption etc. After all, God works out His sovereignty through appointed means – like the prayers of His people – and not through the presumptions of prayerless Christians who simply hope for the best. A penetrating question to ask ourselves is – “To what extent is the suffering of my country, and the conduct of my leaders, a reflection of a prayerless spirit among those who have the ear of God?”. This is not to suggest that others do not bear personal responsibility for their decisions. It is only to remind us of our Christian responsibility as we live under those decisions. It is our duty to pray for those in authority – pleading with Heaven for change, mercy, revival – rather than grumbling (as we are all wont to do), or just ‘wishing’ in the manner of the average pagan. Let those who cannot access the throne-room of the universe ‘wish’ and ‘hope’ as much as they like…but let us pray to our Father in Heaven. Who will pray for this nation, if not the church? Whom will God hear, if others come not in the name of His Son and ask Him? Beloved, let us pray! And if indeed we are sincere in this, we need not be surprised that our Father is pleased to answer – either granting our requests, or denying them with the blessed assurance of His good providence. And remember….
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”
There are a few housekeeping matters, relating to services & church life.
- Early ‘Services Registration’ – A reminder to please register to attend services early in the week. Should you need to cancel, please mail Colin or the church office.
- Evening Services – As mentioned last week, we hope to recommence evening services from this Sunday, should there be sufficient interest. Please do register soon if you plan to attend – it will help us in the arranging of technical & other details. You are welcome to register for both services.
- Big “Cry Room” – As of this Sunday, the larger cry room will be open for those with children under the age of three. We hope to stream the video feed into this room. Please note that the toys/books have been removed for the time being. Parents are welcome to bring some toys for their children, but are asked to maintain social distancing (for yourselves and the children) should you make use of this option. Please remember that not all parents will be comfortable with their children interacting. The small “Cry Room” by the church entrance foyer will remain closed, owing to its small size.
- Junior Youth Event – There will be Junior Youth on the 11th of September 2020 (from 18:00-19:30). Please take note that we’ll be meeting at N1 City McDonalds and that at least one parent must be in attendance (we’ll buy the parents a coffee). The Junior Youth leaders will then buy the children an ice cream, oversee an ice breaker and game (with no physical contact), and present a lesson while the parents sit in a separate part of the McDonalds. Everyone in attendance must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing, and we will not be able to provide lifts. As limited as this may be, it will be our best opportunity to get the children to see their friends again. We will try to facilitate this at least once a month, until things go back to ‘normal’. Please speak to Andrew for more details.
May God be pleased to hear and answer the prayers of His praying people; and may we be found to be such.
Martin, Andrew, Shane & Winton