UPDATE #1 – TUESDAY 17TH AUGUST
Hi Hope Church
I decided to stick around the office until the 6pm announcement was made from the New Zealand Government regarding the recent COVID 19 case. The announcement was delayed by ten minutes and it is amazing how quickly ten minutes can go when you are waiting for something to happen. As the information was announced for a 3 day Level Four Lockdown for the whole of New Zealand, and a 7 day Level Four Lockdown for Auckland and Coromandel, I was reminded of the night before our very first lockdown in March 2020. That night, Tara and I gathered in our lounge, prayed and began to sing and we had the words of the Aaronic Blessing come to mind. So, we grabbed a phone and recorded us singing this to the Hope Rolleston site. I was reminded how these lyrics from the word of God have blessed and comforted so many people and there was a real sense of God’s peace as we did.
As I sit here and listen to the announcement, I get another sense of God’s peace. He is sovereign and can be trusted. As a church we affirm our faith and hope is in him, and he has immense care and compassion for his creation and his people. So over the next few days take the opportunity to express God’s care and compassion to others by checking in with family, friends, growth group, and people in your sphere of influence. It can be a great way to speak the truth, hope and life of God into the uncertainty that people can feel at times like this.
So, over the next few days, obviously all gatherings will be postponed or cancelled. We will be in touch as we work through the week so keep an eye on emails, texts and Facebook, however our key focus will be on caring for each other. However, if you have a specific need or require someone to chat to, please reach out to one of the team at your local site and we would love to assist.
So, as I waited that 10 minutes for the announcement, I was reminded of Gods people in the bible who were waiting for the coming Messiah. I was struggling with 10 minutes, let alone the 400 years that the people were waiting between the last Old Testament book of Malachi, and the first new testament book of Matthew when it was all silent. Yet, in times of waiting, God is working. It might not be visible, but he is. And, it often seems that when he is working in the unseen, that it is followed by God’s biggest breakthroughs. That was the case when Jesus burst onto the scene and changed and transformed the world forever.
So, over the next three days for us here in Canterbury, in this time of waiting, be encouraged and reminded that God is working. Commit your time to him. Make space to call upon his name and allow Him to do that work in us that he desires at this time.
Steve and the Hope Presbyterian Team