Time is passing and the restrictions placed on us by Government don't look like they're going to be removed 'any time soon', which is the phrase I keep hearing Nicola Sturgeon using. However, it is encouraging that steps are being taken towards planning and implementing a strategy for moving out of 'lockdown' into a 'new normal' for us all which will involve reduced social contact in some form or another.
As we hear daily updates from the Scottish Government and the Westminster Government, I think we should also remind ourselves of the fact that COVID-19 can not and will not curtail or close down the Lord's will being done on earth as it is in heaven. We believe that and we need to pray it as well, just as the Lord himself taught us to pray. I see Jesus whose ministry was in no way diverted or derailed by disease, but rather he confronted it and dealt with it! May we do the same!
It is perhaps timely that we remember our Mission and Vision as a church; our mission is to 'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you' (Matthew 28. 19-20), and our vision in achieving that mission goal is to be a WELL church which means that we strive to be a Worshiping, Evangelising, Loving and Learning church. In these days of unprecedented change we need to keep the focus for our faith as we try to adapt and change according to circumstances. So in everything that we do we still need to ask 'is what I am doing promoting worship, evangelism, love and learning?
I miss meeting up with people; I miss meeting up with you but I am trying to make the most of the means available to me to make that happen as much as possible. Can I encourage you all to do the same? I am very encouraged by the way we are keeping in touch and let's not 'grow weary in doing good (in this way) for at the proper time we will reap a harvest of righteousness' (Gal 6.9).
Take care, stay safe, and keep in touch, especially with the Lord, who is always available and alert to our prayers.
Rev Colin L Macleod
Free Church Manse
Evening folks 13th April 2020
I wanted to drop a short email to you all, just to touch base and let you know that you are all very much in our prayers every day; in fact, I think prayerful concern has grown over these last few weeks in light of the limit placed on social contact. It's really strange not being able to meet up and especially strange not being able to be together at church. I know church is the people and not the building, but we stlll do need somewhere to meet as church, and with that being taken away for the time being and for a while yet, it is difficult.
However, I really pray that these strange days will be teaching us all what matters most to us. We take so much for granted and probably rely on lots of things in our daily routines which when that is interrupted or taken away leaves us wondering how we are going to manage.
This is why the fact that we can meet with the Lord every day where we are is so important. In Acts 7. 48-50 we read Stephen describing how God is not limited by location or lockdown: 'The Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says 'Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house ill you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hands made all these things?' We have become so used to and dependent on meeting in a building that we maybe have forgotten or neglected the importance of meeting with God where we are and on our own as well at times, for He is there with us.
It's great to be able to connect on a Sunday through FB and with the daily devotions at 8 am as well, and if you feel up for it on a Wednesday night at 7 pm on Zoom: we have a Bible study and time of prayer that everyone is welcome to join. No need to speak but being 'with' others is a great boost.
So, in days of continued isolation please stay safe and remember one another in prayer; send a text, phone call or email to one another; log on to one of our means of connecting with each other on line, and above all, use your time to pray and speak to the Lord. He never sleeps and there are never glitches in quality of connection either. Always there and always caring.
Take care and God bless
Rev Colin L Macleod
Free Church Manse