It is the end of the year and no-one could have predicted at the beginning of January 2020 what was ahead for us, or what the whole year had in store for us. Who would have thought that such a small thing as the Coronavirus could have brought the world to a stand-still; travel, commerce, economic systems all in chaos and everyone having to stay in their homes for weeks on end.
In March 2020 we were planning the next week’s service in our Church building. It had just had its monthly clean and was all ready for use when we suddenly heard that we were going into lockdown. What a change it made to our Church life. We had to abandon our regular meetings and suddenly learn new skills and new ways of keeping in touch. It meant using WhatsApp more than ever before and learning how to change from being live and vibrant in our weekly meetings to being online and recorded. We have learned a lot and our weekly services have been well received around the world.
The familiarity of a warm handshake or a loving hug has had to be put to one side in the same way as we’ve had to forego meeting together in praise and worship. On the positive side, our new-learned skills have brought us together in different ways. We have a weekly prayer meeting, not all in one room, but in 20 different rooms and everybody joining in on WhatsApp. It’s been a great opportunity for everyone to join in with each other’s joys and sorrows and pray together.
The year has been a roller coaster experience with highs and lows and scary parts, but through it all we’ve had that safety harness of our faith in God and knowing He will never let go of us.
A song that has been very special to us all this time is:
All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God
One of the prophets in the Old Testament – Jeremiah – who is sometimes called the Weeping Prophet, went through some really awful experiences and was rejected by everyone. Yet through it all he is able to say in Lamentations chapter 3:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
In the lead up to Christmas we thought of the good news of Jesus’ birth and we reflected on the hope, peace, joy and love that Advent reminds us of. It is this good news that has kept us positive even when everything around us is negative. When we know the love of the Lord Jesus in our hearts, it is to know hope. It’s to know peace. It’s to know joy and to know His wonderful love
We now look forward to 2021. We are so grateful that there are vaccines available and the end of this awful time is in sight, although we still have to be sensible. We never know what the New Year has to offer. We only know the one who holds the future and whatever comes our way, God will never leave us alone and separated from His steadfast love which never ceases.
We wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to you joining us in 2021.