I hope you encountered God in some way during last week’s live-streamed communion and that those online somehow felt part of it even though they weren’t joining in the gathering in the building. I know some who have said that they watched afterwards but still felt connected with us all as they took communion while watching.
We often talk about we, as members of the church, being “one body in Christ” and, sometimes, God stirs us to remember that we belong to a church made up of multiple generations of believers. As I have heard us talk this week about the sense of God’s presence and our being united together across space and time, it has brought the truth of this into focus for me in a new way. We live in this temporal world, but, in Christ, we are also alive in the eternal heavenly realm. We really are united in Christ with Jesus’ followers alive now and those who have gone before and those still to come!
During communion, Andi Clay talked about wearing masks and how she sensed God say to her that He doesn’t wear a mask – we can hear Him clearly and be aware of His very breath – and we don’t need to wear a mask with Him either. It was an encouragement for us to come, as we are, to our Father, who sees us as we are anyway and has made it possible for us to approach Him with confidence.
Later, Caroline Robinson shared a picture with Martin that not only does God not wear a mask, He doesn’t abide by the two-metre rule either! She sensed God was saying He wants to stick very close to us in this storm, to be standing right next to us each day. Jesus wants and eagerly desires us to draw near to Him.
Many of us have enjoyed getting together in different groupings – up to sixes in homes, in larger life group worship at the King’s Centre, or in the two face-to-face meetings we have had in the building (more of those are being planned). In all these settings, we’ve experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit and had the encouragement of others with whom we are united in Christ.
Over the next few weeks, let’s be creative and see how we can still get together safely so that we continue to grow in unity and know God’s presence with us as we meet. How about sharing communion whenever we do, taking time to acknowledge God and all that He has done for us? And let’s continue to pray for the wider family of God – in Fareham, in the Forge network and with FCC’s friends and co-workers across the world, remembering that we are one in Christ. But, above all, let’s draw near to Jesus, without our masks, as He has encouraged us to do, that He may fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit and enable us to demonstrate the unity we have with Him and each other as we let His love motivate us to do the good works He has for us to do.
Bless you all,