“ Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever”.
Last month saw the fourth occasion of Saffron Walden Bible Focus and, once again, we were able to prove the truth that the Lord is good and that His love endures forever. Of course, it was very different this year in format and we missed the opportunity for fellowship, not least within the context of a good tea and a bookstall to browse. But even though we couldn’t see or speak to each other, we were there – sharing in the event and lifting up the name of Jesus in prayer, Scripture and song.
The number of YouTube views recorded exceeded our average attendance of past years. We give thanks to God for that and trust His promise that his word will not return to Him empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
The opening verses of Psalm 107 describe the people of God as “those he redeemed from the hand of the foe” and also as “those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south”. God’s people are ‘redeemed’ and ‘gathered’. No doubt the original reference to ‘redeemed’ looked back to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, whilst ‘gathered’ referred to the scattered exiles now being gathered back together in their own land. Bible Focus is a gathered people from many and varied backgrounds, denominations, localities, and even nationalities and ethnicities. But we are, also and supremely, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, a redeemed people – praise the Lord! The current pandemic has changed a lot of things but these two things about the people of God cannot be changed: we are a redeemed people and we are a gathered people, one in Christ Jesus, unaffected by any amount of social distancing! By God’s providential grace and his provision of technology we were still able to ‘gather’. One day we shall gather around the throne (Rev 7:9,10), but until then let us never lose sight of the fact that our God is sovereign over all things and the redeemer and gatherer of his people.
If, as seems likely, the coronavirus is going to be with us for a while yet, keep looking to Jesus ‘the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2) – and remember he is still on the throne!