Ministers Letter

MESSAGE FROM THE MANSE – JUNE 2021

Dear friends,

By the time you read this we have returned to in-person worship.  We were able to do this safely and successfully on a handful of Sundays in late autumn last year and then the second lockdown came. And then a long wait. Words cannot describe how good it feels and all being well I will see you second Sunday of this month. I am looking forward to see most of you if not all. For months I felt uncertain of taking a worship service before retiring or sitting down. And it is God’s grace that he has opened up the opportunity to conduct a couple services at Merrow in June and July before my tenure ends. It is a short period of time and in case I am not able to see all of you, which will be sad, but you will always be in my prayers and close to my heart.

In the past months a few people (not from our church family) asked me, when your church is going to open again and my reply was that the church never closed. Yes, we were not able to worship together on Sunday mornings but we never stopped being the church. We still worshipped, enjoyed fellowship, learned and served; it was just done in new ways. As we negotiated the pandemic, we followed in the footsteps of a long line of God’s people who had to adapt their faith and worship to fit changing circumstances. When the Israelites were cast into exile by the Babylonians, they did not just stop worshipping God. They adapted, finding new ways to praise God in a foreign land. When the wise men learned that King Herod was upset with them, they saw the baby Jesus then went home by another way. When the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, God’s people found other ways and places to worship. As followers of Christ, we are in good company with other believers down through the centuries who have adapted their faith, worship and mission in the light of their circumstances.

Now as we have come back together, we do so as fellow travellers on this strange and unpredictable journey. We are not the same people we were last March and I believe we are still figuring out how we have changed and what is next. Who knows? Regardless of what happens we can find solace in the fact that home is not necessarily a place, but it is what we feel when we are safe in God’s arms and that can be any place. It is said, “Home is where the heart is”. I believe home is wherever God is. And it is so good to be home!

Every blessing in Christ Jesus,

Asif