It was really very nice to have people from different ecclesiae all over Great-Britain and Belgium joining this morning zoom-casting.
It is also very nice to see that many ecclesiae are streaming their services. Some are finding it easier to meet together than they used to — with someone, maybe not local. The internet in these times of isolation gives us also more possibilities to hear people from far away. Like coming Wednesday a brother from South Africa will lead our Wednesday night Bible Class chaired by Brother Steven from Mons.
Here in Belgium we are already very isolated, but in Great-Britain, Australia and South-Africa in a lot of places church halls can be found where Christadelphians gather. That gathering is normally a regular activity with meetings throughout the week and a longer meeting on Sunday, often also with a meal together for that longer meeting.
The ecclesia halls closed, believers should be careful not to follow any service on the net. Let’s not allow ourselves to slip into being habitual non-meeters. If we have been in the non-meeting habit, let’s do better. There’s more opportunity than ever to get together. We do agree such a virtual meeting cannot compare to an actual real life meeting. No, it’s not the same, not even close. But we have a powerful exhortation here, to “consider” — really think about — how we can stir one another up. How can we? We need creativity as well as commitment. In the pandemic, is there less need for love? For good works?
When looking around we can see that there are many in need. Lots of people do need some help, psychologically, but also supportively and economically. Today we are facing a world where we will have tribulation (John 16:33). Has it come as a surprise that we have some new tribulations in the world? Have they made us lose the peace Jesus gives us?
For some it might look as a peaceful time now it seems to be calmer in a lot of places. In other places there is much more trouble, people not keeping themselves to the corona measures and creating hammock (like in Blankenberge and other coastal places, youngsters attacking the police). Well it isn’t a peaceful time! But then it wasn’t when Jesus spoke his words, and wasn’t when John wrote his letter. As John says, peace comes from faith — that is, actually believing it’s true that Jesus has overcome the world, and that his victory means we also win out over the world, whatever it’s dishing out. Pandemic, whatever.
In this time of social-distancing, it does not need to be that we avoid all contacts. By internet we can have contacts with people from any place, close by or far away, family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ.
When feeling bitter over the restrictions, think of the new opportunities and consider the words of Paul.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Eph 4:31)
We’re seeing plenty of clamour and slander and malice in the world around us. They have no place in our own minds and hearts. No exceptions, no extenuating circumstances. “Get rid of it!”, as some versions render it.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb 10:24-25)
You can help us to help others.
We do have several projects to give help to others, by providing meals, clothes, medical assistance, a.o..
By providing help we can take away a lot of bitterness, sadness and suffering.
In the past we did send containers to countries in need, but we stopped doing that, it becoming not only too expensive but nearly impossible to get the goods in good condition at the places of disaster or need). Now we give preference to use money in those countries to provide the necessary material in that country itself, when possible. For medical aid we also prefer to use mainly MSF (Doctors without borders) who always can use workers in the field as well. (Please familiarize yourself with their recruitment procedure, their requirements, the FAQs and life in the field before applying. )
All sort of help is welcome.
You also may help us financially by contributing to our Giro bankaccount:
IBAN: BE37 9730 6618 2528 – BIC ARSPBE22 with the notification: “Christadelphian preaching” or with the notification “Assistance”, or by specifying a particular purpose of your own choice.