Musings from the Manse

In Times like these, what are we to do?


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


By the Time this pastoral letter reaches you, we will still be in lockdown and

self-isolation in the effort to fight against the awful virus (Covid-19) which

has paralysed the world and exposed our human limitedness and fragility.

Humanly speaking, there are lots of reasons to be afraid and anxious in

these worrying times as we see the world under our feet crumbling. Fears,

anxieties and worries are beginning to take hold of our minds, as we may

already be directly or indirectly affected economically, socially, emo)onally,

mentally, and perhaps spiritually as well.


Perhaps you are asking: Why all this? Where is God in all this? Any answers?

Praise the Lord that He was, somehow, preparing some of us who find

ourselves asking these ques)ons, as we went through them and similar

ones just a few weeks ago when looking at the Book of Job. Oh, how timely

that series on Job was!


I cannot help but look at the tiiming of that series as a preparation to also

look at what is happening to us or around us relevant to this Covid-19 crisis

through different perspectives. One of the encouraging things we are

hearing since this pandemic began to intensify, is the surge of willingness

from people to step in towards the effort of trying to help one another. We

watch this humanitarian phenomenon happening in all of the world and in

our own communities. We see humans at their best! We thank the Lord as

we see people becoming more and more loving and caring. This is a time

when we begin to see again more tangibly some sacrificial acts which

exemplify Christ’s supreme sacrificial love that we read from John’s Gospel,

that ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his

friends’ (John 15:13). May we hear again and again Christ’s command to

love one another, and live it out more prac)cally at this time.


On Saturday 21st March, in our first ever leadership video conference,

deacons and elders looked at the topic ‘What kind of church is God calling

us to be in the midst of this pandemic?’ Becoming a more loving and caring

church is one of the things which we felt God is calling us to be. The other

thing we thought is that this is a time for us as a fellowship to become a

more praying church. Prayer, among many of its objectives, is intended as

‘an effective means of carrying the community through difficult and trying

times.’ So, we will be praying more not only for ourselves, but also for our

communities and the nations. Given this, you should be expecting to get

more prayer items, as we now have a lot of time at our disposal to pray.

Prayer also helps us to have a higher trust in God than in our available and

visible resources.


Now friends, let me end with a note regarding the fear of death which

seems to be one of the greatest fears that is always looming in our horizons,

especially at this time. It is inevitable that death will come to us or to our

loved ones, whether during this period or later. Whatever lies ahead of us,

it is my prayer that when our time comes to face death we may tap into the

same peace, boldness, and triumph as Christ’s early followers, who scoffed

at death, calling it a tyrant who had been conquered by Christ. Like them,

may we know that the end of our lives here on earth is a glorious beginning

and that the best is yet to come. May the Lord help us to overcome the fear

of death.


So, whether in life or in death, may we be found in Christ, who is our gain

and only hope, blessed hope! Easter is around the corner. May our eyes be

fixed on our Risen and Glorified Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, who is to

come!


May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that

you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirt.

With much love,

Abi Ngunga