It has been a long time since we were able to meet together in the church building, but now I am delighted to be able to announce that we will be returning for Sunday Worship at Dalreoch on the 20th September. This is of course dependent on restrictions remaining at the level they are at the moment. There will be many changes to how we use the building and the style of service, but I hope we will simply be able to rejoice in being able to meet in the same place again to worship our Lord. For those who are unable to attend morning worship we hope to be able to record at least some of the service to place on our website from Sunday afternoon.
Although there has been a great reduction in the numbers of people infected with Covid 19, and especially the number of deaths and people in hospital, we must continue to pray for those who have suffered. Through the illness itself, the loss of loved ones and those who are facing long term financial difficulties or health concerns. We also continue to pray for those who have found the long months of lockdown difficult, or have suffered because of the situation, even if not directly through the disease itself. We can all continue to pray, even if we are not all able to meet together in worship just yet; and prayer is especially important as the level of infection has begun to rise in this area during recent weeks. We must hope and pray that a vaccine might soon be found, our prayers are not from us alone but join with the prayers of all Christ’s Church across the world.
The reading of our Bibles can provide a great deal of comfort and support at this time. I find it very encouraging to think that in many of the New Testament Letters we are reading the advice of people who knew all about suffering and hardship. Often they were separated from the congregations they cared for, and the people they loved, yet they continued to communicate encouragement and support them in prayer. In recent months, not only have we had the opportunity to understand better, what the New Testament writers were going through, but we have the chance to read once again their words of advice and to apply them to our own lives. As normal life has been put on hold for a while we have time to explore our own faith and to remind ourselves that whatever our situation the Lord is with us for all eternity.
In 2 Corinthians 1:1-5 Paul writes:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
May we all know the comfort of Christ’s presence with us as we learn to adjust to life beyond the pandemic, and may we continually trust in the Lord to guide us in dealing with new situations in the months to come.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)
With sadness we have to announce the death of Willie Killough, who would have been well known to members of Dalreoch in the past as one of those who set up and cleaned the Church each week. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.