I hope you all are keeping well and in good spirits. As cases continue to climb and the MCO is extended, some of us might continue to feel anxious. Others of us are simply feeling more bored than anything. And naturally, our anxieties want relief now. Our boredom wants alleviating now.
Yet regardless of whatever emotion we’re feeling, I would like to point us back to our church’s core convictions, to remind us to continue to make these our core convictions during this time.
A. Let’s remain centred on the gospel. Jesus remains Lord. Romans 1:4 reminds us he is the Son of God in power, enthroned on high, by virtue of his resurrection from the dead. 2 Timothy 2:8 similarly exhorts us to “remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.” As the resurrected King, he has not been overcome by the chaos of the world. He remains in control.
But of course, this is the King who has walked the path of suffering, the path of the cross. This is the King who travelled this path because he has not forgotten another reality, that was true pre-Covid 19, and will still be true post-Covid 19: sin is real. Hell is real. And He has come to deliver us from sin and its many effects – the pollution of our souls, the corruption of this world.
And if our King was willing to die in our place, he will not withhold whatever is best from us: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him graciously give us all things?” This is a tough road we are currently travelling on, and it is certainly not what we would have chosen! But if our souls are centred on and by the gospel, then we know the valley we’re passing through is one God desires for our good. That can give us renewed strength and motivation to keep on keeping on.
B. Let’s continue being driven by the Word. After asking us to remember Jesus Christ, Paul tells us that although he might be chained, “God’s Word is not chained!” (2 Timothy 2:9). Psalm 119 reminds us too the character of this Word. Verse 25 says it is life-preserving. Verse 28 says it is strength-giving. Verse 42-43 says it is truthful and trustworthy. Verse 49 says it engenders hope. And so the psalmist constantly asks God to teach him, to give him understanding, to consider God’s Word.
Therefore, it is in this time that we should not neglect the nourishment God’s Word gives to us. The Lord promises he is with us, but that doesn’t mean he is with us in flesh-and-blood right at this moment. So how do we hear his voice and grasp his presence? It is as we come to Scripture, in humility and expectation, that he speaks to us there. The amount of information we are receiving during this age is overwhelming. News articles about the coronavirus, predictions about what the future world would look like, analysis and commentary and everything in between, but what we really need to keep hearing is the Word of God.
C. Let’s keep focusing on growing (as) disciples. The will of God is for us to grow in conformity to Jesus Christ even as we grow in dependence on him. That is still our mandate. It is easy to think that this focus is also on “lockdown” during this period. But consider Paul’s example. Even from prison, he is still thinking about how he can continue on for “[the Philippian Christians’] progress and joy in the faith” (Phil. 1:25), how he can instruct them through the letter he’s writing, how he can be a model for them. Even in prison, he is still pressing on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called him heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:14). Certainly, being restricted in movement did not cause him to avert his eyes from this goal!
So this is still a time for growth. How might we equip ourselves to know more about God? How might those of us who are fathers lead our families in worship during this time? How can we who are sons and daughters live in a way that glorifies God and honour our parents? How can we use this time to grow in our knowledge (head), our desires/attitudes (heart) and/or our service (hands)?
D. Finally, let’s be a community of truth and love. This is probably the one we find trickiest. How can we be physically distant yet remain a community of truth and love? Again, it is instructive to consider Paul. From prison, he shows love as he releases Timothy and then Epaphroditus back to the Philippian community at personal cost to himself (Phil. 2:19-30). As we mentioned this past Sunday, sometimes even the simplest acts – an offer to pray, checking in on people, doing a grocery run – can be acts God will use to grow his kingdom. Let’s not underestimate our ability to love one another even now.
So with these convictions in mind, here are some quick updates:
1. With the MCO being extended to 14th April, we will continue to livestream our Sunday services, including on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This Sunday, we’ll try to include something for the kids too and a little something post-service! During this season, we will be looking through some of the psalms as we travel on this pilgrimage. Do keep checking Facebook/our website for more detailed updates.
2. We will be utilising the Zoom platform to try to get our prayer meetings and HFGs online. (An introduction to Zoom can be found here:
We make the effort to do so because of our core convictions regarding the gospel, the Word, discipleship and community as mentioned already. This past Wednesday, we had a great time as 30++ of us gathered together to pray screen-to-screen!
I recognise that the technology can be a bit intimidating for some of you, but can I encourage you to persevere and to try it out? It will not be easy, but we can bear with a bit of awkwardness and technical mistakes for the sake of continuing to be church together. I will be preparing a document of sorts to try to help our HFG leaders out in navigating Zoom and how you might conduct meetings online. Look for that.
3. On Facebook, we have been putting some resources from time to time to help equip you. I’ve now grouped some of those resources (some mentioned already, some new) here in one place:
Crossway’s free resource bundle (including Bible crafts for kids, podcasts, articles, ebooks, Bible reading plans)
Ligonier Ministries teaching series (free to stream during this time):
Ravi Zacharias’ Ministries Take 5 (Five Minute devotionals):
St Ebbe’s Church Daily Service (15 minute devotionals taking us slowly through Psalm 23):
I am hoping over the next fortnight to produce 2 simple devotionals, to release on Wednesday and Friday. This will most likely simply be in written form.
4. As we move forward, why not adopt a simple routine for each day? Find one time during the day to read God’s Word, pause twice a day – once in the morning, once in the evening to pray, and think of three persons you could check in with. 1-2-3!
Thanks church, and keep running the race!