"I will restore to you the year that the swarming locust has eaten..." Joel 2:25
Some of our staff and lay leaders are meeting early next month to pray, share and seed some plans for next year. If there are some matters or ministry concerns which you are burdened about, please communicate with us. You can email the wardens, pastors or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This year is of course another trying one and perhaps in some ways harder than 2020 as the pandemic lingers on. The heightened restrictions imposed since June has a dampening effect on our communal worship life together. It has affected the participation of families with young children and seniors.
During this season, we have come to appreciate the importance of the discipline of worship and serving in the life of a believer. For many of us, this is also experienced as families or communally together. "Come let us go to the House of the Lord..."
For centuries, singing and "speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs" (Ephesians 5:19) has been a part of our worship life. When we sing in worship, we speak to one another! This is not something you can do alone in your home or while watching a Youtube Service. We inspire, encourage and lift up each other's spirit when we sing in unison and raise our hands. We spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24-25). I have already preached on the need to regather here.
Even preaching is a communal experience. Our reception of the Word can encourage another. Sharing our responses with another, whether in a casual conversation or when we are gathered in Cells, is another form of mutual edification.
And to be able to share our burdens and pray together is precious. We see with greater clarity the importance or value of something when it is missing. These regular and seemingly small moments in life provide the structure on which the fabric of life is laid.
I am merely articulating what many Christians down through the centuries have experienced on a regular basis as an essential part of faith and life. This need for "one-anothering" - to sing and read together, to speak or to listen, to correct and be corrected, to encouraged and be encouraged, or simply, just to be present together - are gifts that the Lord has given to us through th local church.
May 2022 be a Year of Restoration (Joel 2:25). Let us pray and work together towards this.