Two weeks in, and how are you settling into the new routine? I had to smile. I was working in my home office when Karen sent me a text from the lounge asking, “when are you coming home for lunch”? Life has certainly changed. So, a few thoughts for you to ponder this Thursday.
How are you doing? - I spoke with one person this week who, when they need encouragement, picks up the hymn book and sings! What a great idea. They are also making a cross to put in their window for people to remember the true meaning of Easter. Is this something you could consider? No pictures have been sent to me recently, so here is one of mine. This was taken at 7am this morning! This picture does it no justice, but the moon this morning was beautiful! Easter 2020 - I don’t think we will forget this Easter! It is certainly different. No Easter Camp, no going away on holiday, no recreational drives in the car. But it does provide us with the opportunity to stop and reflect on the reality of what Jesus went through this Easter, so many years ago.
A reminder that we will be online for both Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. Both are at 10am with the “chat” starting at 9.30am. “See” you then. From the elders - It has been great to be able to continue the elders meetings via Skype. It is certainly a good way of being able to address the day to day issues, but also allows us to look ahead and consider the shape of ministry in the days to come. Over the last few weeks, we have asked the people in the church to pray during this time of lockdown. The elders would love to hear from you. What do you sense God is saying? What do you think God would calls us to in the days ahead? Are there any other reflections you would like to share with us? We look forward to hearing from you. Those we support overseas - today I received a video from Alan Jamieson, head of New Zealand Baptist Missionary Society (NZBMS), asking that we pray for 10 minutes each day over Easter for our overseas workers, the poorest countries about to be affected by COVID-19, and where possible to give financial support to the Mission. Please join with me in bringing these situations before God this Easter. Reflection - so how are you feeling, half way into the present lockdown? I know that for some of you, this is a time of catching up, for others concern about your health, while for others you are too busy working and life carries on. As we progress through this time, I keep coming back to a couple of thoughts. • God knows - God knows what is happening. This is not a surprise to Him. As God has been faithful through the ages, He will be faithful again. • God is doing a new thing - it may sound corny, but I am sure that God is at work in the crisis. God is working out His plan, and we are privileged to be a part of it. What Jesus did on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, changed everything - I won’t “preach” here, but as I prepared for the sermon on Easter Sunday, I was again filled with wonder and adoration at God’s great love for us, displayed through His Son Jesus. So join with me this Easter, in heargelt worship. Finally ...
Resources - I am sure many of you are receiving communications about what companies are doing to help in this time, etc. I received an email from the Automobile Association, with the following free resources. (I have copied this directly from their email, so “our friends” is referring to the friends of the AA)
Our friends at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s are excited to announce the launch of Merlin’s Education Toolbox, a FREE online resource hub inspired by the magic created in their atractions!
Stuck for things to do with the kids? Bubble living just got brighter – introducing MOTAT Fun! Our friends at MOTAT are bringing the best of what they have to offer online at motat.fun. Every day they'll share new FREE activities, stories, puzzles, games, videos and more!
Our friends at the Royal New Zealand Ballet have launched ‘Live in your Living Room’, a curated series of productions from the RNZB archive, broadcast free via Facebook Premiere. This weekend, journey in to the fantastical world of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Lovers, fairies, mischief and moonlight conspire in Shakespeare’s classic tale, vividly retold with dazzling dance and Mendelssohn’s famous score. Tune in to the free broadcasts on Friday 10 April at 7.30pm, Saturday 11 April at 1.30pm and Sunday 12 April at 10.30am. Shalom, Bruce