Sunday, the 29th March, 2 days ago, marked the 5th anniversary of my induction at Lindfield URC. On that day before Palm Sunday 2015, the church was packed to the rafters. Photos from that day show family, friends, and members of the congregations I had in my 10 years of being in Northampton. They also show a number of Lindfield people who at the time I barely knew, but have come to know much better.
Who could have predicted that day just a few years ago, where we would be now? Who would have thought our church building, and every church building, would be empty on a Sunday morning but congregations would still be gathered (online), and at the same time be scattered in community? Even at the Church meeting in March, as we were of the Coronavirus making inroads to the UK we still talked of the events of Easter we were planning, assuming all would just continue in a familiar pattern, but it was not to be so.
Some of the exiles in Babylon struggled with not being in their regular place for worship, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137: 4) they ask, and yet we see that the faithful honoured God such that kings came to know that the Lord is God and should rightly be praised. Although sat as church on comfy chairs in our own home, we might still not be too comfortable with the change that has occurred, yet it gives new opportunity to re-understand our faith and share it with others. If our faith was more about being in a building, rather than being God’s people, did we understand who we are to be?
May God guide us, and lead us forward by His Spirit, as we trust in His son Jesus.