It’s the second day of a week off, and rain pounds the roof of the caravan, and wind blasts it against the windows, but I’m warm and dry inside. I took the dog out earlier, and he delighted in running through muddy puddles and jumping in a water filled ditch, I tried to find the route that while wet at least didn’t require wading through mud. I was glad of my boots, and raincoat. I appreciated the fresh air, and exercise, but I was not so thrilled at being out there as my four legged friend.
Coming back in I’ve been flicking through Twitter and just watched a news clip from Wales https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-wales-54697158 a lady said she had been in tears after her church service was stopped by the police and she had to head home alone, broken from her experience. The mister defends his action of having the church open, saying that the law has no place to stop worship.
I kind of understand where the minister is coming from, we are called to honour God and bring praise. In the URC statement of nature, faith, and order https://urc.org.uk/images/Free-Ebooks/What_is_the_URC_Statement.pdf it says ….
We believe that
Christ gives his Church a government
distinct from the government of the state.
In things that affect obedience to God
the Church is not subordinate to the state,
but must serve the Lord Jesus Christ,
its only Ruler and Head.
Civil authorities are called
to serve God’s will of justice and peace for all humankind,
and to respect the rights of conscience and belief.
… however the Gospel directs us to Love our neighbour as ourselves, it speaks of sacrifice, and while there are many times in the New Testament that we are told of the believers gathering in one place there is no commandment declaring we must be in Church building on a particular day. So should that church have opened in disobedience to the Welsh firebreak, or should it as a loving action have chosen not to meet, in solidarity with the community (even if as in tier 3 English permissions allow). Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it must. As Paul says to the church in Corinth,
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV
There is clearly no clear path. It is all muddy, and although fortunately in Lindfield we have been spared much of the pain of loss, of suffering, and also of restrictions, things could change. Please continue to pray that I, with our elders (and the church leaders across the land) might discern God’s word in our (their) situation.