Sunday 29 March

Dear friends,
Today is the second Sunday when Emmanuel like all the rest of the churches in the land are closed for public worship. But this does not mean we are isolated from God. 

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

 

Today we were scheduled to have Douglas Fishlock preaching in the morning. We shall miss Douglas’s Bible exposition. Last time he came he preached from 1 Peter 3: to 4:11. So this time I imagine he would have gone on to 1 Peter 5. Would he have majored on verses 6 and 7? Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

At this time we certainly may be worried and troubled, not knowing what may happen in the next few days and weeks. Every time we switch on the TV, listen to the radio or surf the internet for news we are overwhelmed with programmes and information about Covid 19, not only in the country but around the world. Let us take comfort that we can “cast all our care on our Heavenly Father” knowing that “He cares for us”. Remember that God’s hand is mighty and He’s got the whole world in His hand, as it says in the song:-

1 He's got the whole world in his hands. 
He's got the whole world in his hands. 
He's got the whole world in his hands. 
He's got the whole world in his hands. 

 

2 He's got the wind and the rain in his hands. (x3)

He's got the whole world in his hands. 

 

3 He's got the little tiny baby in his hands. (x3)
He's got the whole world in his hands. 

4 He's got you and me, brother, in his hands. (x3)
He's got the whole world in his hands. 

 

5 He's got you and me, sister, in his hands. (x3)
He's got the whole world in his hands. 

 

6 He's got everybody here in his hands. (x3).
He's got the whole world in his hands. 

 

Go on – sing it yourself!!!

And that includes you; brother and sister, and we can abide in Him.

 

This evening was to have been a Praise Night. Events overtook us and I never got around to organising it in detail, but I was asked if we could sing one particular hymn:

When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there

 

1 When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, 
and time shall be no more,
and the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
when the saved of earth shall gather 
over on the other shore,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

:
When the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder,
when the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.

 

2 On that bright and cloudless morning 
when the dead in Christ shall rise,
and the glory of his resurrection share;
when his chosen ones shall gather 
to their home beyond the skies,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. 

When the roll is called

 

3 Let us labour for the Master 
from the dawn till setting sun,
let us talk of all his wondrous love and care;
then when all of life is over, 
and our work on earth is done,
and the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there. 

When the roll is called 

Verse 3 encourages us to “labour for the master” and “talk of all His wondrous love and care”. That may seem rather difficult as we are all isolated at the moment. But when opportunities arise, see if we can put those tenets into practice.

This coming Tuesday’s Church Night was scheduled to be a Missionary Prayer Meeting. Let us make a special effort this week to pray for all our Missionaries. The countries where they work are also under threat from Covid 19

Robin and Muno Asgher at Cranford Baptist Church.  It appears that London is suffering more than we are at the moment. Pray for their safety as Robin and Muno serve the folk in Cranford.

Clive and Cath Barker  SIM Pakistan. Pakistan seems to have only been lightly touched by coronavirus so far. But although the people of Pakistan do not need Covid 19, they do need the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Barnabas Fund (special project). Pray for Christians in N Korea. The country does not admit to having any Covid 19 case, but the world community seem sceptical about this.

Belgrade Bible School (Oak Hall in Serbia).  The school is not functioning this year, but pray for a new influx next year.

The Christian Institute  Quoting from their website; the CI encourage us  “At this challenging time for the UK and countries worldwide, Christians should continue to pray for all those in authority, and to act as salt and light. Please pray for the witness of God’s people in the days and weeks ahead.”

Rob Hooks at with the London City Mission. I don’t know specifically what Rob is doing at this time but the CEO of the LCM writes:- “We greatly value your passion for the gospel and for the least reached, and we pray that during a time of potential pain for so many, God’s grace will become apparent. There could thousands of people in London fatally impacted by coronavirus who don’t have a Christian friend to share Jesus with them. Our missionaries are already caring for the sick, and we are adapting our ministry in the face of this crisis to continue sharing the gospel whilst caring for those amongst us who are particularly vulnerable. Please stand with us as we share the light of the gospel in London.”

Rich and Zoe with OMF, Indonesia. As with Pakistan, Indonesia seems to have only been lightly touched by coronavirus so far, although there is doubt about the reality of official figures. So far there is no lockdown, so pray for the safety of Rich, his family and the others working with him, that the gospel might prevail.

(Next week we will consider the other missions that we support.)

 

Special prayer

Please pray specifically for both Pete Fellows and Ernie Bathurst, who have been identified as “extremely vulnerable” to Covid 19. This involves 12 weeks isolation and no face to face interaction other than necessary care workers.

Give thanks

For the safe return home of Jess Marchbank (John and Sue’s daughter in law) from a spell in hospital after being diagnosed with Covid 19.

A prayer.
Loving God, our Heavenly Father, I praise you for your great creation and your sustaining power day by day. I thank you for your love in sending Jesus to be my Saviour.  I commit my daily life and those of my family and friends into your hands. Keep us all in your love. 

A Benediction

And may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (1 Peter 5:10).

Amen.

Do you need any help? Errands run or shopping done?
I have heard from Andrea (513 973 and 07854 829 468), Babs (577 883) and Vicki (519 647), all of whom have offered to help.
And remember, wash your hands and keep your distance.
God bless you all,
Chris