I imagine that I’m not alone in feeling that circumstances regarding coronavirus have overtaken us all. In some ways the decision to cancel all services and meetings was a straightforward one following the recent advice from both BUGB and government. In other ways, however, I must admit to some apprehension that church as we know it is being forced to adapt. I was awake in the early hours this morning and so used the time to pray and seek the Lord about how we might continue as Chesterfield Baptist Church when we don’t physically meet together. I am greatly encouraged by what I sense God is saying. Firstly, “One anothering”. This is our opportunity to look after one another by ensuring that everyone has someone to talk to. This is not so much about going to church as being church. We hope to allocate everyone to pastoral groups to ensure we all receive regular contact, possibly by telephone, from someone within the church. I hope also to record messages and mini-talks to share with you. ‘One anothering’ is a wonderful New Testament principle so let’s embrace it.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)
Secondly, “Do not fear.” I’m relatively new to Chesterfield and don’t know most of you any where near as well as I’d like. There are some challenges for us to face together as we help one another through this time. Nevertheless I sense this assurance from our Father that we are not to be afraid.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 6:5-6)
For most of us ‘virtual church’ or ‘scattered church’ is a strange place to be. But we are still church. Even though we are not meeting together for Sundays services or in House Groups and all the other various activities we love, we are still church. And as church we will continue to find ways to love one another, support one another and witness to our neighbours of the saving grace of our Lord Jesus.
Yours in Christ,