The following statement is part of a helpful email distributed to Churches this week by Steve Bartlett, the Director of Ministries for the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT.
With the Covid19 virus present in our communities and the projections for how it will spread in coming days, weeks and months, we find ourselves in extraordinary times.
It is easy during a time of crisis to grasp for control and certainty. As followers of Jesus, how can we live differently in what is a time of fear and anxiety? How do we take the hard decisions to make needed changes (and there will be many of them) to how we operate as faith communities, but also respond well to those who are vulnerable among us and go beyond this to seize the opportunities for service, witness and mission?
Here are some overarching thoughts I’ve found helpful.
- Remember: We’ve been here before.The world has faced pandemics in centuries gone by, and often the Church of Jesus has shone in these times.
- Remind one another: God is with us, guiding us through His Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are comforted by the words of the Psalmist who says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps46:1). Our security is not simply in our own capacity or that of our society; rather our hope and peace is because of Christ.
- Respond in ways faithful to the Gospel.
The parable of the Good Samaritan has relevance for us in this moment. We live as part of a society that has in recent times been ‘beaten up’ with drought, bushfire, storms, and now the Covid19 pandemic. Will we ‘walk by on the other side’ or will we stop and ‘bandage the wounded’?
- Watch out for one another in love.
Be patient and forgiving of one another.
- Pray. Pay attention to our prayerfulness; seek God earnestly and expectantly for his mercy and grace to be poured out on our world, and our own lives, at this time.
Here’s a letter in that spirit. A ministerial colleague delivered it to the other 21 townhouses in his block during the week.
Well, we’re in interesting times with this whole COVID-19 situation, with lots of anxiety and fear in our community about where it’s headed. It’s hard to tell what the next days, weeks, and months have in store for us but, whatever the case, we think it’s a good time for the return of neighbourliness.
We don’t have a whole lot stockpiled, but we may have something we can share with you if you’re in a pinch. We’d also be happy to do a run to the shops for you if you are finding it hard to get there yourself.
Anyway, if you do need something – or if you want to talk more about ways we can help each other out – give us a call on mmmmmn
Josh & Tara (Unit m)
God bless and enable in the days ahead.