Pastor Andrew Owen
- Church is open
- Church is online
- We are the church
More than 20,000 people connected with us again last weekend at church online, with many of those connecting with us through UCB’s Facebook page, as they took the feed of both of our services.Then many more are connecting mid-week as we both offer new, nourishing content and repeat the weekend services with live hosts/pastors available for prayer and chat.
There are many now writing into the firstname.lastname@example.org prayer line, and the prayer team needs more help. This is something you could do even if you are isolating.
I personally have found many of my family members from around the country connecting and watching and listening, and I know many of you are saying the same.
The government has listed the church as an ‘essential service,’ so
the pastors and volunteers are allowed to go about their essential duties.
Our buildings can be kept open for personal prayer/preparation of online services and services provided into the community.
- We are now past 1,000 hot meals a week being prepared and given out to hostels and others in need here in Glasgow.
- We have sent thousands of pounds to India for our churches there whose members are without food at the moment.
They can’t say goodbye to their families who are not allowed in, so these electronic tablets are the only way of communicating and saying their last words and sharing their last thoughts.
Thanks for those who have donated, we still need more though.
Our food bank is now needing much more food, both for people inside the church and in the community at large. Please donate food if you can.
We also need drivers to deliver the food out to people isolating. (All following health/safety protocols at this time)
Then, just a few weeks ago we prayed for Doris as she caught Covid-19 and was dangerously sick. We thank God that she has made a full recovery.
I’m very pleased to share with you today’s devotional thoughts which Daniel has written for us.
Enjoy and share with others.
All contact details for the church are below, we want to hear from you if you need help, want to help others, have a prayer request or maybe just a question to ask.
We love you guys,
Andrew & Sue
From Datuk Pastor Daniel HoTheme:
We have never been this way before – Clarity and Wisdom for what is before us….
“Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. “But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it.” – Joshua 3:4
The words from Scripture today are absolutely apt and reminiscent of our times: “…you have never been this way before”. Indeed, the whole world has never been this way before and is reeling with panic and exhaustion in dealing with this global coronavirus pandemic.
But, first, why did Joshua’s officers say these words to the people of God? They are crossing the River Jordan for the first time to possess the Promised Land. They are going into both alien and hostile territory. Moreover, none of them were trained for warfare. The odds stacked against them are huge. Yet, go in they must.
More importantly, who was going to lead them into taking the land? The priests carrying the ark of covenant of the Lord were going to lead the way. We know the ark represents the Lord’s presence and that was what the people were to follow; with the Lord really ahead and leading them. Their focus should always be on the Lord in spite of the foreboding challenges.
In the past 40 years through the wilderness, the Lord had always been central in their journeys. It is going to be no different in the new era. Likewise, as we are under lockdown and a pause (and much of the world too), it is crucial to re-evaluate about the centrality of life.
What is or who should be at the centre of our lives? This “pit stop” allows us to ponder and re-order our priorities and focus all over again.
Is God at the centre or have work, careers, hobbies or other affections consumed us?
The people of God were also told to keep a distance of a thousand yards from the ark of covenant in the march. Imagine more than 3,000 years ago social distancing was already being practised! Both the distance as well as the proximity are mentioned regarding the ark. But why?
Indeed, distant enough to behold the fearsome presence of the Lord with reverence and awe and yet close enough to keep focus on the Lord at all times and to follow Him. This is what it should be for us in the present too. There is maintaining a “distance”, a posture of reverence and awe for the Lord. It is also having an extended daily time in worship, in the Word and in prayer and yet close enough to always keep the Lord before us. Prayerfully this would be our new lifestyle from now onwards.
In the present and before the crossover, the people of God had been camping and living in extremely close quarters. They were also sharing food and everything else with no proper toilet facilities. Imagine the tension and the conflicts at times between adults and children. It is a known fact that husband and wife conflicts since this lock down has skyrocketed while many things like crime rate and car accidents have dramatically declined.
This is a great time to learn to resolve conflicts, to value relationships and to live together with joy and gratitude all over again. It should be a great time for bonding and renewing of relationships in the family besides renewing our commitment to the Lord.
What about the future? What should our re-ordered lives look like and what is the promise ahead for us? Let me offer a few thoughts.
Firstly, God is dealing with this global economic system which is based upon human greed. Overnight trillions of dollars have just dissipated. God is teaching us to know how to say, ‘enough is enough’! Sadly, human beings don’t know how to do that, including us as Christians. Didn’t Jesus tell us, “Watch out? Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke. 12:15)? Let us all honestly check our hearts on this.
Secondly, in this global pandemic God is dealing with human pride and the insatiable desire for control. We thought we are in charge and can do everything. Moreover, science seemingly has all the answers to life and living. So, what do we need God for? But a miniscule virus unseen to the naked eye has humbled all of us. With all the brilliance, expertise, resources and collaboration the whole world is scrambling for help and an answer. Of course, a vaccine will be developed in the coming days and we pray it will be soon to lessen sufferings and the pain of the loss of loved ones. None the less it is the health care workers who are sadly at the frontlines.
However, acknowledging our human limitations and learning humility and trust in God should be an important lesson for all of us. Then we will experience God’s amazing grace as Apostle Peter tells us: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Thirdly, God is teaching us about simplicity of life. Under lockdown we begin to realise that there is very little that we actually need in life. We have accumulated too many things that cluttered our closets and our homes. We need to learn to live simply so that others can live simply too. Learn to live loosely to the things of the world so that our lives are freer to serve God and the advance of His Kingdom. Let’s share what we have with those in need and invest like never before into proclaiming the gospel.
Fourthly, there are many more people in need than we realised. The group that is suffering the most is the lower 40% of the social ladder in our nation which includes the poor, needy, marginalised and the elderly.
We praise God that many churches and individuals, including us at Destiny, besides non-governmental organisations and other religious groups, are rallying to help those in dire need. We must continue to do more. We must respond in great generosity and be willing to release even more resources. At such a crucial time, the call is urgent and the privilege to fulfil the words of Jesus (Matt. 25:40) should be our joy and blessing.
We need more frontline volunteers to help us from all of our buildings as we cook food and reach out into our community.
Finally, in such an unprecedented global crisis we could be on the cusp of the greatest spiritual revival the Church has ever known. Countless people are living in anxiety and fear. People are uncertain about the future. Many are shut in, lonely and just longing for someone to talk to. Job losses and business closures are unimaginable worldwide. The foundation of one’s life, security and confidence is shaken. It is at such a time that people are wondering about the meaning of life and what the future holds for them.
There is no better time but now and no better place but right where we are to offer the peace and hope that is in Christ Jesus. Fuelled by prayer, this could be the Church’s finest hour, ushering in spiritual revival like we have never witnessed before in human history!
May this crisis lead to radical and lasting transformation of human lives, societies and nations.
Datuk Pastor Daniel Ho