Sunday service 29-03-20
A Word of Exhortation For Christ Church URC
Theme: Worshipping God in the Spirit and in truth
Bible reading: “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:19-24).
Dearly Beloved in Christ Jesus, I bring you warm greetings in the precious and the priceless name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that God will continue to shield you and your families from this invisible enemy called COVID-19. Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, and I wish to encourage you to remain steadfast in prayer as we continue to seek God’s face for a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in my lifetime, chapels are closed almost all over the world. And this is not due to religious violence or persecution, but because of a virus. Of course, there is no doubt that we missed our fellowship in our chapel. But let us consider this: “Sir,” the woman said…Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Jesus demonstrates to us in this passage that worshipping God is not only about meeting in holy places. But it is also about how we relate to God personally. And more importantly, it is about how we relate to one another in these circumstances in which we find ourselves, bearing in mind the huge impact of social distancing for example on individuals and families such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, and fear. At this point, let us not forget the experience of the disciples in Mark 4 when they were faced with a great wind storm on the sea and the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling up and Jesus was in the stern, asleep. The disciples in their moment of fear and anxiety, went and woke him up and said to him: teacher do you not care that we are perishing? When the Lord woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea: peace be still, and the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. We too finding ourselves in a very helpless moment like the disciples, I urge you as a body of Christ to remain calm and continue trusting God. Let us also continue to remain united in the spirit of love, sincerity, and truthfulness; putting on the whole armour of God. Remember that wherever you find yourself, you are the temple of God. Continue to worship the Lord in truth and in spirit by studying the Word and devoting yourself to prayer fervently. I pray that the Spirit of God will continue to commune with you wherever you are right now so that you will become God’s agent of grace and love and support for people in your community, especially the vulnerable and the elderly. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you All. Amen!
Rev. Confidence Bansah (Ph.D.) Minister of Christ Church URC - Hatfield