This week we have had church coffee chats, a few meetings, an ‘Under 5’s’ ministers group chat, and celebrated Starbeck Church Anniversary – all online of course. It has been good to stay in touch with each other and to finally be able to see family, whilst following the strict Government guidelines on social distancing. I am aware, though, that this has not been possible for everyone. Many are not on the internet or social media, are still shielding and therefore not able to meet with family and friends as they would like to, and/or are feeling lonely right now and would like some company.
I am reminded of the following passage:
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8: 38-39)
When the Apostles began to take the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, out into the world, they didn’t have the internet. They went out and spoke to people, and crowds of people – which we can’t do at the moment – and not only that but wrote letters to the Churches. Paul wrote letters of teaching, particularly where a community had theological differences, of greetings, or because he wanted to prepare them for an intended visit during a journey from one place to another. He wants to have a personal relationship with them, and his letters tell how he thanks God for them, thinks of them, and prays for them.
I’ve only picked out two verses in Romans 8, because I feel that it speaks to us now, in the situation that we find ourselves in. Jesus showed his love for us by suffering on the cross and nothing that we are going through right now can separate Christ’s people from His love. Not the anguish of death or the concerns in our daily life, nor anything that is good or bad, nor time, nor any forces, or space, or in fact anything in all creation because God himself is the creator and all that he has created is under God’s control. So, although we may feel separated from those we love, that love is the bond that holds us together. That love unites us as a church family, as the body of Christ, because God himself is love. We can know, without any doubt at all, that nothing and no one can separate us from God’s love.
How can we respond to that? Show someone that you love them. Tell them that God loves them. Write a letter….pick up the phone…share your favourite Bible verse…pray for them and pray with them. I thank God for you and pray that you may know God’s presence and love with you.