The blog this morning is taken from the ongoing series of Daily Devotions from EMW. With the possibility of re-opening on the agenda of our Partners Meeting this week it seemed a helpful preparation for our discussions.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
It’s eight thirty in the morning, I’m currently sitting in a layby somewhere in south Cardigan on my way down to the South Wales office. The last few hours have been sheer pleasure!
Starting from my home in the North, I have travelled through the magnificence of the Snowdonia mountains, I have marvelled at the green hills and valleys of mid Wales and have been amazed by the vast deep blue beauty of Cardigan Bay. I had almost forgotten how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful country. Yes, it’s been good to have spent the last six months at home, walking the hills around the house, but it sure feels good to be back on the road again!
I guess for most of us the last six months has seen very little movement as we’ve been forced to stay close to home again, in so many different ways. From leisure to work, we’ve had to find a new routine based around our homes, and the same is true of church. Most of us have found a routine – a routine that God has used to bless us, be that joining the church service in our slippers, listening to sermons when we want to, and joining in Zoom meetings from the safety of our own home.
But as we enter a new period where lockdown is easing, and as the vaccine programme is gathering momentum and where we can gather again, we must recognise what is opening up to us again. It is a great blessing to be able to meet with other Christians. Yes, we need to pray for wisdom and keep to the guidance, but we must not let fear, uncertainty, shyness or even comfort keep us away from coming back to meet with other Christians again. Let us not forget the real blessings that Jesus died for – to bring us into God’s family for His glory.
As I this morning have had my eyes opened once again to the beauty of our land, we need to be back together as much as possible so that our eyes are opened to see the beauty of God’s family. We may have forgotten it, we may have got used to being on our own – we may even think that it’s better. But God’s Word and His providence would disagree. It is good for us to get out and be together, because just as my heart is now singing to God with worship at His creative beauty, so our hearts will sing to God at the beauty of His Salvation beauty when we see other brothers and sisters.
There is one thing that would have made this journey even better, and no it’s not a drive-in Starbucks every half hour. It would have been amazing to have company, I would have loved to share this experience with Debs, Ben and Ana (my family). There is something about being with somebody else that makes the experience even more special, and I trust this is what we will experience when lockdown eases. As we’re able to gather again, meet in church, meet for coffee, have family days in the park… our experience of worshiping God in our life will deepen even further as the Spirit moves in us. And just as the early church found, let’s pray that others will notice our love towards each other, so that more are saved to beautify Christ’s bride.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Steffan Job (Capel y Ffynnon)