News and Events

Mail from the Manse – April

Dear Friends,

I don’t know how much in lockdown you may feel at present, but when the streets of major cities are emptying, powerhouse economies are struggling, schools are closing, international travel is curtailing, and church services are online streaming,  what might well be a boost for our climate, is certainly a hit to the way we have got used to doing life. Increasingly, there are huge questions being asked, great doubts being expressed as anxiety over the coronavirus seems bigger than the virus itself.

It is hard to think of a more devastating feeling than the fear of losing what you had put all your hopes in because a thing like Covid 19 has come along to threaten it. Many have had that feeling before through losing their health, or their job or even the love of their life, but when the anchor we have been holding on to is suddenly taken from us and the glue which for so long has been holding our life together no longer sticks, then we can be thrown into confusion, anxiety, and even despair.

What we need is something to put our hope in that cannot be taken from us or touched by death, disease, or disaster. Something that will never desert us, or more reassuringly I would say, someone who will always be there for us no matter what. Encouragingly, many people have discovered that it has been in losing their own moorings that they finally found the one hope they could never lose. As the Psalmist penned it for himself way back when, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will never be shaken…Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:1ff)

We are not without hope in this world. If I can just alter the words of one well known hymn a little bit,

“We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the virus grows,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.”

The only life-anchor, the only life-hope we can never lose is a personal love relationship with God and God alone. Religious activity may give us something to do but it takes a real relationship with God made possible in Christ and all He did that first EASTERTIME to find the true rest our souls need, and He delivers. Jesus is the Lord over disease and death. Hold on to that. He died to vaccinate us against the deadly virus of sin, and He rose from His grave, came back to life, so He could come into our lives and be our hope in every need we have and every dilemma we face.

“In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus assured us and certainly we are in trouble now. “But take heart! I have overcome the world,” He promised. (John 16:33). With faith in Jesus, who is our hope, we can bridge the gap between anxiety and peace, knowing that even at a time of so many disturbing possibilities, we need not be dragged down the road of paralysis that panic would lead us, but instead by  acting sensibly in response to this virus, trusting God fully, and showing His love practically, we can rest confidently in the hope we have in Him.

We must pray that at a time when so many don’t know where to go and what to do, they will run to God and find as we all can and must,
“… Salvation comes from Him.”

Please do what you should and keep safe. Ask if you need help or you can give it.  

Your Friend and Pastor

Shaun

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