Sisters and Brothers,
I greet you in the name of our ever-present Lord.
God, in sending Jesus, gave us the message of Immanuel, that God is indeed with and among us.
Jesus, the Christ, lived on earth, sharing our struggles, experiencing our pain, and dying for us. He rose from death, ascended to God’s right hand where he continues to intercede on our behalf. His return to the Father paved the way for another Comforter, the Holy Spirit who resides within and around us.
So yes, through all the changing scenes of life, including the changing phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, God has not left us comfortless.
As we prepare mentally and otherwise to return to corporate worship in a physical setting, let us resolve always, to honour God’s presence. Let us know for sure, that in our struggles to meet the changing demands of this dynamic situation, the power of God’s presence is what will guard and deliver us from whatever threatens our flourishing as God’s very own people.
The challenge for us remains how to express love of God and neighbour in practical ways while we continue to observe physical distancing guidelines. For some, this will mean continuing to stay at home even when chapels are open. In such a setting, it will be incumbent upon us to stay in touch with each other, to share faith and to comfort one another, to continue to build each other up even across the barriers of space and walls.
Every class in the circuit is called to be deliberate about maintaining the bonds of true Christian fellowship. This is far more than being physically together when we have a common meal. Even without that, we must live out our calling by looking out for and looking after each other, and we can also be alert to the needs of some we might have ignored in times past.
The pandemic has, hopefully, reminded us of our mortality, and our need to use the available time to do good. All we have is the present. Let us recognise life for the present (gift) that it is and let us present all we can in terms of goodness to help others enjoy the present (now) and sense that God is, indeed, here with us.
Yours in God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor