DAY 8: Thursday 27 March†††† †††††††† FROM A DISTANCE
Good day everyone Ė itís day 8 of our emails.
Yesterday Karen asked me to try the special pensioners morning shopping slot at Sainsburys and I would be forgiven if I returned with less than 100% of the shopping list! Getting into the store was by an orderly queue with strict 2 metre gaps and took no more than 3 minutes. But once inside, many of the pensioners seemed to forget about social distancing rules although many were wearing gloves and facemasks or scarves over faces. One elderly lady at the checkouts was repeatedly asked to step back to 2 metres distance but she kept repeating ĎI donít understand what is 2 metres?í My shopping trip was successful managing to get 95% of what Iíd been sent for - and whilst there I also saw both Mike Price and Ted Roberts (from a safe distance of course!)
Thanks to Anne Roberts for the following
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46)
With this Coronavirus crisis come opportunities, with the Ďpermissioní of wider society, to speak hope to those around us. Many are understandably fearful, even perhaps some of us (who have health conditions or are older) who have the assurance of Jesus Christ as Lord. But those who donít know that Jesus is Lord, who donít know the Holy Spirit with them, and who donít know that their Heavenly Father loves them dearly- they will be very frightened indeed. And the good news is that society still knows that at times like this, Christians have a reputation for reaching out, and helping others; so people are interested in how local church groups respond. This is a great opportunity for Christian witness whether we can support others practically or not, but we can all pray.
Donít forget to keep in touch with other Chapel folks. Perhaps over the next couple of days you could ring at least 4 different people Ė if you are a Sunday morning regular, ring people who normally sit to your left, to your right, in front and behind you. That way should ensure we donít miss anyone. As a further help Iíve attached a PDF list of names Ė the left column represents our regulars and the right column those who are involved with other groups like 3GF, Gardeners, Ladies Meetings, Coffee Mornings, Mainly4Men and Ukulele group. You wonít know all the names, but God knows everything about each individual and hopefully the list will prompt you to pray for or give a call. Because of data security rules, no contact details are shown but if you need someoneís phone number, ask me. But remember, this list is for your personal and private use only and is not to be copied or given to anyone else.
Christine Jennings sent updated news on Chris & Katie. New Zealand has imposed lockdown so they are not allowed to leave their hotel room. You may have seen TV news reports yesterday of hundreds of British people stuck in various countries across the globe all waiting for flights home so please continue to pray that Chris and Katie will be allowed on the flight next week.
Jack & Christineís other son Andrew has been notified he is considered high risk so, like Chris Brookes, Alan Armstrong and now also John Abbott, they are confined to home for 90 days. We expect over the next few days there may be others from the Chapel family who will also be confined for an extended period and who are understandably concerned and worried at this moment. We will endeavour to keep you all updated on this.
†††††††††† Returning to the theme of Ďdistanceí, there is a well-known song which you can singalong here >> †††††††††† http://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/main/hymnalong/21559085
The chorus of the song suggests that God is watching us from a distance and that is true that God sees everything Ė a 360 degree vision. When I look across the room in which I am sitting, I can 5 metres to the wall. When I stand on a beach and look out across the sea itís about 3-5 miles, but if I climb a mountain, then I can see 10-20 times that distance. On this beautiful sunny morning I can see the Sun at 92 million miles but when I look up into the night sky I can see stars hundreds of millions of miles away. Seeing distance can be incredible and awesome.
But God also knows every detail of our lives and in that sense, God is close-up. But the reverse is also true where many people only see God from a distance and often sadly donít even believe there is a God. But in times of great crisis people do begin to wish and hope there may be a God who even cares about them. Now is such a time and over the coming weeks there will be many people hoping to find out if God really does care. Letís be there to help and encourage them.
Isaiah 41:10 was the most read scripture in 2018, according to the YouVersion Bible app. The verse reads -
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Have a blessed day
Wesley & Karen