To say that it has been quite a week is a massive understatement. Things were changing so fast last week it was almost impossible to keep up. This made the decision to cancel Sunday worship a hard one. At the same time, one by one, other programs being run here at Fellowship are also being cancelled: George Hull has suspended their Tots program; NPCC has suspended their Arts program; we have called off this month’s games night and the open mic poetry event.
Of course, even with worship and program cancellations, the church continues. It exists by you carrying on as the people of God right where you are. But we run the risk of feeling fragmented, even isolated. So, I am beginning regular communications, so we can stay in contact.
As I write this, Prime Minister Trudeau has just addressed the nation, and he ended with a call to consider and care for one another. That’s what we as a church do best! Stay in contact with one another. Prayer and the telephone is the best tools we have right now. Do you know someone who can’t get out? Pray for them and call them right now, while you are thinking of them, and see what help they need.
I’d like to hear from you, too. What’s on your mind, as you read the news about this virus pandemic? What Scriptures are you turning to for consolation? I’m thinking about this one:
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was stupid and ignorant;
I was like a brute beast toward you.
Nevertheless I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me with honor.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps. 73:21-26, NRSV).
What an amazing assurance God has given us here! With his fatherly love, God reaches down and takes us by the hand, with the promise to stay by us always. This is especially true as the threat of sickness looms large.
We will witness the range of human emotion during this time – as someone at the neighbourhood coffee shop just phrased it this morning, “the best and worst of human reactions.” We’ve already seen fear and hoarding; we may well see bitterness and rage before this is over. But not so with God’s people, for our desires centre on our man in heaven, the one who is our “forever portion.”
As you pray and seek God’s counsel to guide you through uncertain times, God will truly be the strength of your heart.
Prayer requests for today:
- Please pray for members who are suffering under lockdown conditions and cannot receive visitors
- Please pray for our members who are travelling and needing to get back home safely and well
- Please pray for your church Council as they meet tomorrow (Tuesday) evening; there is so much to be discussed and decided during this unusual time
Prayer for a Pandemic by Cameron Wiggins Bellm
May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
remember those that have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love during this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbour. Amen.
In closing, let’s pray together as our Lord taught us to pray,
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
May God keep you safe and well, Fellowship!