Encouragements for our troubled times No. 40

COVID-19 Series | Date: 24 December 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Pastor

Luke 2:19

“But Mary kept all these things in her and pondered them in her heart."

Being put into tier 4 a few days before Christmas has thrown all our plans into disarray. No longer can we meet with our loved ones in person and share the festivities with them. Now, the best that we can do is meet with them over the internet. Some of us will be on our own and others will only be able to see one other person that is in their support bubble. Whatever our personal circumstances may be it is certainly going to be a very different Christmas for us all. One bright point in all of this is that our Church is able to remain open for our Christmas Day service so, whether we are able to attend or we can only live stream, nearly all of us will be able to join in the worship of our wonderful Saviour and praise Him for coming for us into this world of ours.

As we read the account of our Saviour’s birth we see that things were very similar for Mary and Joseph. True they didn’t have COVID to contend with, but Mary did have to give birth and tend to her and her newborn baby’s physical needs in the most unsanitary conditions. We cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for this new, inexperienced mother to have to give birth in a stable with all the filth and stench of the animals. She must have feared greatly for her own health and safety and, even more so, for her baby’s. She and Joseph were all alone and must have felt very anxious. But they knew their Son was God’s own Son and they were not alone for their Heavenly Father would care for them and His Son and they were in the presence of Immanuel Himself. And we, even though we are in lockdown, we are never alone. Our Heavenly Father watches over us and our Immanuel is ever with us for He will never leave us nor forsake us.

So, this was a very strange day for Mary and Joseph. They were new parents having to cope with the most difficult facilities and circumstances. They had no one they could turn to for help and no way of letting anyone know of their circumstances or of the happy event. This should be one of the happiest days of their lives with all their family and friends around them to share it with them. But they were miles away from anyone they knew and had no way of contacting them. True they did see the shepherds for a brief time but they were the only ones they saw. So, what could they do to mark this special day? Our verse tells us what Mary did ‘she kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.’ And even if we cannot share this special day with any others, we can still mark this special day by keeping all these things in our hearts and meditating upon them.