Thought for the Week – 22.10.20

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

Many Church services have had to revise their way of worship in these days due to restrictions put on meeting together. Our church can accommodate 15 people in the sanctuary but many of us link in by internet for the live service. In the prayer time last week, one person thanked God for this time of fellowship that was enabled in this way of communication and it got me thinking about that word.

The early church met together, shared meals and prayed, and I imagine, as scripture has encouraged, greeted each other with a holy kiss.  In our culture, we would greet each other with a hug in welcome.  Today, we miss this, not just in church settings but with family and friends. Fellowship of yesterday seems to be replaced with a ‘ow are you’ from a two meter distance. Not the same in by any manner of means.

For most people, we need the human touch, we need contact and to feel we are loved. It reminds me of the lepers of old, shunned by society, not able to have human contact because of the infectious nature of their disease. But Jesus, the Son of God, was full of compassion and never turned away. In the Gospel of Matthew we read, ‘A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.  Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.’  He touched him!

Even today, although we cannot hug those outside our immediate household, be encouraged that the Lord knows how we feel and He has promised that His presence is always with us. We are told that there is joy in His presence. So let’s rejoice in that whatever is happening outside our control that He is in control and has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. That is the fellowship I’ll take any day.

Dr Stuart Chalmers, Oban Baptist Church