24th April 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
To be honest, lockdown is not very difficult for me. I’m used to working from home. I’m blessed to have family at home with me. Our house is large enough to give each of us our own space. We have a big garden and a beautiful park down the road. And yet I find myself frustrated and complaining that I can only go out once a day, and I’m limited to where I can go.
How different to the apostle Paul who could write, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). And he’s “in chains” in prison in Rome (1:13,14,17). I doubt that I’d be content in those circumstances! What’s his secret? He tells us: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (4:13). And it’s an open secret. Paul’s God will do the same for the rest of his people: “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (4:19). I have a long way to go and a lot to learn!
The rest of this email explains what is happening on Sunday, along with some other things. Once again, there is some new information, so please read it carefully.
Sunday 26th April
Our Sunday service will be available here.
It should be available on Saturday evening for those who would find that helpful, even if most of us plan to join at 10am on Sunday. This Sunday we are studying Psalm 110 and the question ‘Has God lost control?’
It’s now easier than ever to invite someone to church! They can ‘be there’ without anyone knowing! Please feel free to share the link above as widely as possible. There will also be a flyer on the church website which you can download and print and give to people.
Following the service there will be the chance to meet together for discussion and prayer at 11.30am using Zoom.
Family Bible Time
You can find a new series on the life of Jacob here.
Would this be a good time for you to join a Fellowship Group? Most of the church family are in a small group, meeting together weekly for Bible study and prayer. It may be that these present circumstances actually make it easier than ever for you to be part of such a group (online of course). If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
I have been rediscovering some old hymns. Do you know this one from William Cowper, a long-time friend of John Newton who suffered deeply from depression, and yet wrote some of the most beautiful hymns? Here are the first two verses:
There is a fountain filled with blood
drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
and sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
lost all their guilty stains
The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
and there may I, as vile as he,
wash all my sins away.
‘See’ you on Sunday!
Yours warmly, in Christ,
Chris Hobbs (Senior Minister)