‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.’ Romans 12:12-14
These verses from Paul’s letter to the Romans, part of the Epistle for this week, seem to speak into our world today and to the situation we find ourselves. Whatever happens, however we feel we are encouraged to persevere in prayer. We may not feel like praying, or we might find it difficult to pray (and believe me, we all have times like that) but what we should do is persevere – come back to it time and again.
I am conscious that there are some people I have not managed to catch up with in person and so would like to say if you would like to meet me for a cup of tea/coffee, just for a chat and catch up please let me know. I am happy to meet in your garden or arrange to meet at one of the cafes in town. It is these opportunities that we are missing because of the Covid-19 restrictions. I would like the opportunity to catch up with people and maintain our contacts with each other as a community even though we are limited in what we can do in church and even though, many of you, understandably, don’t feel ready to come back to church. Of course we still have our online services for those who are able to join in. All of this means that as we move forward we must remember our calling to contribute to the needs of the saints, to the needs of all the people we are called to serve in our community, and to extend hospitality to strangers – to metaphorically and physically open the doors of our churches, be part of the places we live in and welcome people into our community, however they choose to become part of our community.