During the Pandemic there has been much grieving and tears and many of us have had the same thoughts, that if we knew the future, we might have something to look forward to. In Jeremiah’s situation as a prophet, God had shown him what the future would be. Recently, we have been told that a vaccine has been successful which makes a light in the tunnel for us.
There has, however, been many tears shed to make us feel enough is enough, but life goes on and if we love one another as Jesus said the light in the tunnel will get brighter and brighter and there will still be hiccups on the way. This was what I felt when Lisa and I had just been driving around the district to hand out free books to people who were unable to go shopping or others who hadn’t money to buy books. On the way home, we stopped at Long Itchington Chapel and were faced with a part of the ceiling on the floor, broken and covered with dirt. Our light dimmed, one member cried, ‘Is this the end of the Chapel?’ ‘Who knows,’ was the answer, except to say it’s only a building – a well-loved building – a special building to be used for people.
Paragraph 1 was for all readers and paragraph 2 was mainly for Long Itchington, so now I turn to the people of Long Compton who might at times in the past have cried saying, ‘Is this the end of our Chapel?’ They too had broken parts and needed help from God the Builder and it also meant hard work and determination. There is another name, another person who comes into the story. Long Compton’s full name is Long Compton Ebenezer Chapel. The story of Ebenezer is for both churches, because at a difficult time it meant ‘the Lord has been with you thus and will be with you at all times.’
Now I take you back to Lamentations and Jeremiah and to well-known words which will come from those books of the Bible and will brighten the path that lays before you. First from Jeremiah 31 v.3 & 4. “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt.” And from Lamentations 3 v.22 & 23 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
PRAYERSEver Faithful Lord, if only we were able to worship with singing, we would lift the hearts and souls of everyone within the area of our Chapels. We don’t lose hope even though we have been unable to have our meetings or our times of worship. We pray Lord that the people who make the rules and have not understood what it means for us to be refused that short time gathered together in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have tried different ways to come close to you knowing as we pray you have been at our sides.
Lord Jesus Christ, in recent times we have heard more and more about children who are living in poverty, for children born with various difficulties for them and their parents to manage and children throughout the world who need medical help. Lord Jesus, we remember the day when You reprimanded your disciples for turning the little ones away saying, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
During last week Lord Jesus, we have had the yearly request for donations to help all children in need, we have prepared boxes for children in other countries and we have been made aware of children in our own country suffering with cancer. Lord Jesus, we ask your blessing on all the money that has been raised at this time and that it will be used so that every child who needs help will receive it. Lord Jesus, as we come to the end of our prayer might each one of us pause to offer a prayer for a child of any age that we have been made aware of, not forgetting our two sponsored children Acam Mercy in Uganda and Shibam in India. We pray in Your name, in the will of the Father and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen.