18 Feb Good News!
Happy Friday y’all! And I do mean happy!
We’ve received the wonderful news that, sooner than we had heard even two weeks ago, SARS-CoV-2 restrictions are being lifted further!
Copied from the NSW Health website:
- Density limits no longer apply
- COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required at places of worship, funerals, memorial services, or gatherings afterwards.
- Singing and dancing will be permitted at all venues, except music festivals
Clearly we’ll still maintain the greatest care for one another, and it appears that masks are still in place at least for the time being. BUT we can stand & sing (& dance if the Spirit moves you).
We’ll keep the hand sanitizer around for a while longer and have our morning tea volunteers serve you from the common table. But we are moving back toward a more reasonable operational footing. Thank you Lord!
And as always…if you are feeling unwell or experiencing some sort of “symptoms,” get that checked out straight away & keep yourself & others as free from harm as possible. And let us know if there’s a need we can meet. I’ve also discovered I have access to some emergency food supplies…a decent-sized box of non-perishables that can be hand delivered to someone who’s in isolation due to illness.
So…Sunday is primed to be a great day! Could be warm…and our space could be full…but won’t that be a great way to celebrate the abundant grace & care God continues to shower on us! Let’s make sure we have plenty of water around in case it gets stuffy…no falling out from anything other than the Holy Spirit!
- Affirmation of Baptism for 8 of our young apprentices to Jesus.
- Morning Tea!
- Visitors & guests aplenty
- A cornucopia of other events in Wagga this weekend. Plan your travelling & parking & shopping accordingly.
- The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on 2nd March. We’ll say more about that over the next 2 Sundays…but that means Easter is not too far away
As I re-read through the book of Exodus…it’s becoming the “little things” the Spirit uses to catch my attention. (Exodus 12-13-14 is what I’ve read this week) For instance…after the plagues have ravaged Egypt & the Israelites been shielded from them & after the “Destroyer” has slain the firstborn throughout all Egypt & passed over the children of God & after the Israelites have “plundered” their slave masters in their Exodus…they reach the shore of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army hot on their heels.
After all that it seems logical to expect a degree of confidence, assurance or boldness from God’s people.
But in 14:11 & the verses following we see something very different:
“…The people said to Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
They’re terrified of an enemy that has already been routed multiple times by God through the plagues he unleashed & by killing the firstborn of Egypt. After all they’ve been shown of God’s great love for them, they declare a preference for slavery over what they assume will be a brutal death at the hands of Pharaoh’s army. It’s easy to retreat in the face of threat…to allow fear to drive our decisions & destabilize our hopes & confidence. Two years ago we began hearing “two weeks to flatten the curve.” Far too much has been forfeit since then to the incessant drumbeat of threat & panic & alarm.
“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord himself will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’” — Well…at a crucial moment they would have to walk forward toward the land God promised on the dry sea bed…but “keep still” is an indication that they might have been dashing about like headless chooks. They needed to “keep still” at least long enough to be able to see what God was about to do on their behalf.
Nothing good comes from panic…terror…persistent fear. Nothing. We live with the daily call to commit the whole of our existence to the Father who has promised to never forsake or abandon us (Heb 13:5), whose very presence & power dwells within us. (1 Jn 4:4)
I’m committing this year in prayer & among you as a year when the church steps out of the shadow of fear & boldly lives the promise of the Father who banishes fear, enacts deliverance, destroys those who would destroy us, & himself fights for us…and has already granted ultimate victory through Christ.
Join me…Sunday and every day.