As I am sure you’ve all aware we are in a second national lockdown for 4 weeks.
You’re probably wondering how we as Broadwater Baptist Church are responding to the latest developments of the continuing coronavirus pandemic. We are closely monitoring the situation and seeking to follow all government advice and yet at the same time, we want to offer some pastoral tips on how we walk through this crisis with Jesus and love our neighbours. Here are some simple guidelines for what we should and can do at this time, recognising the situation is rapidly changing:
As Christians we are not immune from this virus and we need to take the same precautions as everyone else. If you have any of the following symptoms: A new continuous cough, a loss of taste or smell or a high temperature please self isolate for at least 14 days. This is the latest advice at the time of writing but obviously this may change. If you think you have got the virus, use the NHS 111 questionnaire online https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and follow the advice given.
Please continue to follow the latest advice from the NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Current Government advice can also be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Don’t get isolated even if you have to self-isolate!
Please let your house group leader or the members of your discipleship group know if you need to self isolate so you can be prayed for and practically helped.
Continue to stay focused on Jesus
This is clearly a time of great fear which will be heightened by the media’s response. Be wise with your media diet and focus on God’s love, peace and faithfulness. We may end up with extra time on our hands through self isolation, travel plans cancelled or work patterns changing. Use that time well. Worship at home, read your bible or that christian book you’ve been meaning to get into, spend this time with God. Let’s turn hand washing to prayer! 20 seconds is the perfect length for the Lord’s Prayer or to intercede for someone who is scared or vulnerable right now.
Our role together
This crisis will create opportunities to love, care for and offer prayer to those who are ill or anxious. People all around us will be asking deeper questions than usual because everything that previously seemed secure is being shaken. There will be an increased openness to the gospel, so be bold in sharing your faith.
In the year 251AD a plague decimated the great city of Carthage. In the book ‘Epidemics, Networks and the rise of Christianity’ it says “The minority Christian Community which did not flee but stays to provide nursing at a higher survival rate than their pagan neighbours and the pagans who had been nursed through the Crisis by Christians were likely to be open to a face that unlike their own had worked.”
‘Love Your Neighbour’ has never been a more appropriate command at this time. A practical idea that you may wish to take up to help your neighbour, you might think about putting this note through your their door.
As we face the impact of coronavirus, could we who live on xxxx Road/Street provide some support for each other? That way we can shop, collect medicine or provide a listening ear for each other. We can all be a help to each other.
I wanted you to know that if you need anything, please feel free to contact me on the details below. It could simply be for a friendly chat on the phone or to buy and drop off some shopping that you need or provide a simple meal. I can leave shopping or food on your front door and ring you to let you know it’s arrived. It’s no trouble at all.
Your Name & Number
In a time of anxiety and uncertainty these words always help and sustain me. I hope they help you.
“The Lord is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble . Therefore we will not fear” Psalm 46: 1-2
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1”
One of the most amazing privileges we have as the body of Christ is our access to God and whilst we might not be able to meet together we can definitely pray together in unity.
*Community* Let us pray for a spirit of love and care to come over our community.
*Nation* Let us pray for wisdom over our government, medical care and essential services during this season.
*World* Let us pray for the outpouring of God’s grace over our world and for the church to truly reflect Jesus during this season.