Having our ecclesiae operational is a good witness to the public, providing of course that we are following the regulations. The gloom and darkness which hangs over many parts of society needs the brightness and positive message to shine from our ecclesial lampstands.
It has been rightly noted that current worldwide problems might not prompt many people to turn to God but for those of us who pay attention to His Word these are remarkable signs indeed. Therefore, we should not be discouraged or disheartened, even though the problems and sufferings might be great, but we should be emboldened to speak out and lift our heads to look for the return of our Lord.
In the U.K. Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country even when the lowest level of new cases may be measured since the pandemic began last March, King’s College London Professor Tim Spector tweeted.
- Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
- Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
- Work from home if you can and minimise travel
- If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home
For Belgium the government has set rules to stop the spread of coronavirus, and we keep to these rules though many other religious groups try to have public services again. We shall continue presenting our meetings on the net. It is marvellous to notice the regular attendance (even up to 59 families) each in their own bubble avoiding becoming ill or making others ill. We thank all our members for following the restrictions demanded by their local government. Together we’ll stop the coronavirus.
The Consultative Committee of 14 April 2021 has established that the pressure on healthcare remains relatively high, especially in the intensive care units. The Committee also notes, however, that a number of core metrics are evolving favourably and that there is an acceleration of the vaccination campaign. Though we do find that it goes very very slowly. Today, 25th of April still lots of 65+ people not having had their first injection – one good reason not to come together yet in real life.
Respecting the six golden rules remains vital. As a reminder, the six golden rules are as follows:
- The hygiene measures (e.g. washing hands, coughing and sneezing hygiene, etc.) remain essential;
- Outdoor activities should be prioritised wherever possible. Where necessary, indoor areas must be adequately ventilated; 3 Additional precautions must be taken for people belonging to a high-risk group.
- Social distancing of 1.5 meters is the norm, except for people living under the same roof or between people who have close contact on a regular basis, for children mixing up to the age of 12 and between counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling). People who are unable to respect social distancing must wear a face mask;
- It is necessary for everyone to limit their close contacts as much as possible. “Closer contact” implies contact which lasts longer than 15 minutes, without respecting social distancing and without wearing a face mask. During this phase of the epidemic, it is recommended that each person limits themselves to close contact with 1 person (outside the household).
- Gatherings are limited to a maximum of four people (not including children up to the age of 12). Not including exceptions stipulated in the Ministerial Order. These six golden rules are instructions and not recommendations. They must therefore be adhered to by everyone.
For sure people should know it is still too early to go back to a pre-Covid life.
Technology has proved a great blessing during the lockdown period, but we are fully aware that online gatherings are only a substitute for the real thing. Meeting virtually may protect the physical well-being of members, but the mental and spiritual health of others needs to be taken into account as well. Some find the online platforms daunting, and the idea of speaking out in front of so many faces is just too much. But we want to assure people that when meeting on the net one is not respected to all have something to say individually. Only when you feel like it, you are welcome to do.
By the modern tools we were blessed, brothers and sisters able to hear the thoughts of speakers from around the world in real time, and often seeing faces of other listeners from all over. This at least is one of the great online benefits.
For those who are glimpsing the early signs of spring and early indications that lockdown restrictions are easing, remember the signs which speak of our Lord’s return. In six week’s time readers in the Northern Hemisphere will be enjoying the spring and a little more freedom, but wouldn’t it be nice if we were with our Lord at that time?
Some people have been better at waiting for six weeks than others. When Moses ascended Sinai the people left behind had no idea how long he would be gone. They might have expected Moses back later that day, or the following day perhaps. So when he did not arrive things started to go wrong. They concluded something must have happened to him and gave up on the promise of his return. They took matters into their own hands and demanded that Aaron take some action. They gave up on the word of God and broke the first two commandments by constructing a golden calf – a new and incorrect form of worship. The warnings of Exodus 32 are particularly valid for us today. Looking back 40 days doesn’t sound like a long time at all. Perhaps then we should behave as if our Lord might be back in 40 days and make the most of every opportunity to serve in that time.
A period of 40 days will have seemed extremely long to the Lord Jesus as he endured the temptations in the wilderness. He endured by concentrating on the word of God, and putting all other thoughts out of his mind. This is the best defence against temptation. So as we wait for our Lord’s coming, let us take his words (quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13) to heart:
“You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” (Matthew 4:10)
This worship of the Highest can take place in your own house, in your own bubble, but also by joining other brothers and sisters on the World Wide Web. There we can feel how united we are, all people with the same faith and going for the same hope.
At the moment let us keep safe and protect ourselves as well others by keeping social distance and all hygienic measures.
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