“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”
In recent days we have found ourselves facing a health care emergency which is testing each of us. It almost seems as if everything is out of control. We find ourselves tempted to give into panic, joining the crowd rushing to the stores in order to hoard supplies. Some of us are tempted to defy the advice we have been given. We want to continue to do what we have always done. Our world seems to be out of control and we don’t know how to best respond to the circumstances we are facing. It is there that the Apostle Paul’s quotation from the Book of Habakkuk is so helpful. Habakkuk was facing difficult, dangerous and uncertain times when he approached God for a word of wisdom. In essence God said to him “trust me”.
No matter what we think the Lord is still sovereign over the crisis we are facing. We, as people of faith, are called to live not by fear, but by faith. In doing so we must first of all believe that the LORD is in control. He has put us into a certain set of circumstances. It is all part of His refining process as He calls us to really trust Him.
Therefore we will be following the wisdom which we have received regarding short term decisions we must make in order to keep everyone safe. We will therefore be doing the following over the next two weeks. That is from now until the end of March.
- All Services and Meetings in person will be cancelled until the end of the month.
- This includes board meetings, outreaches, Church Services, and Bible Studies.
- We will be endeavouring to communicate with as many as possible over social media to provide Sermons and Bible Studies.
- We will be holding board meetings by phone and email.
- We will be looking for new ways to provide ministry to each of you.
- Keep checking this blog for updates on our programs.
Above all keep in mind that we are called to be people who love the LORD Jesus Christ and who want to serve Him and the people around us. Take note of the people in need around and do what you can to serve them. This morning I came across this helpful quotation from Brian Zahnd in his helpful Lenten book The Unvarnished Jesus.
“The sixth sign of the healing of the man born blind takes up an entire chapter and is filled with drama as the man who was healed bests the Pharisees in theological debate and is expelled from the synagogue for it. The story opens with the disciples observing the man born blind and raising a theological question of who is to blame for it. But Jesus dismisses this line of questioning. Jesus is saying that when we observe suffering, the question isn’t who is to blame, but how can we help. We’ve all seen Christian leaders assign blame upon the victims of epidemics, earthquakes, and tsunamis. But blame is what the satan does. Followers of Jesus are called to co-suffering love, not theological stone throwing. So Jesus instructs his disciples that when we observe suffering, it’s not an opportunity to assign blame, but an opportunity to do the works of God by helping to heal, restore, and alleviate suffering. Blame is the devil’s game—love is the high calling of the Christian. As Hans Urs von Balthasar said, “Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed.” And this brings us to the main point of the sixth sign. The meaning of the sign is made explicit at the end of the story. Look at the last verse of the chapter as Jesus says to the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would not have sin, but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” There is an innocence in admitting that we are too blind to pass judgment on others. We don’t have to have an opinion on everything, especially when the question is who is to blame. It’s enough for us to say, “I don’t know who is to blame, I’m just here to help.” But when we claim to have 20/20 vision in judging the sins of others and assigning blame, our own sin remains. This is the sin of Job’s friends. They couldn’t resist the temptation of trying to explain what had happened by blaming Job. The book of Job is a study in the seductive cruelty of blaming the victim. The lesson we should learn from the story of Jesus healing the man born blind and the Pharisees’ reaction to it is that we should acknowledge our own blindness and let Jesus be both healer and judge. Lord Jesus, we confess that we are too blind to pass judgment on others, so we turn away from seeking to blame and turn toward trying to love. Help us, we pray. Amen.” (from “The Unvarnished Jesus: A Lenten Journey” by Brian Zahnd)