Tuesday Update 20
Dear brothers and sisters,
This is now my 20th weekly update and pastoral letter during the lockdown and its gradual easing. Most weeks, it hasn’t taken me long to figure out what to write about, though some weeks I have thought: how do I keep things fresh and stimulating week-in-week-out?
Well of course, the great advantage I have is the gospel itself, which is ever fresh, coming to us with fresh challenge and insight every time; forming in us fresh energy, wisdom and courage for facing earthly life in all its highs-and-lows.
We are reminded of the ever-new, ever-fresh gospel by the Word-of-God itself:
- Lamentations 3 assuring us that God’s compassions never fail – they are new every morning
- Psalm 98 calling us to sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done marvellous things, including putting a new song in our mouths
- Jeremiah 21 foretelling a new covenant in Jesus’ blood
- Paul (2 Cor.5) holding out the possibility of being a new creation for everyone who is in Christ
- and John (Rev.21) foretelling the great hope of a new heaven and new earth, by God’s power and grace, where we will spend eternity – free from sin, temptation, tears and death
So as we stand full-square on a new covenant, having been made new creations, being the recipients of blessings that are new every morning and having that sure-&-certain hope of a new heaven and new earth, well might we sing a new song to our God ... and even when the songs we sing are ancient, they are nevertheless new, because of the constant and continual goodness of our God towards us.
There’s a good deal of information coming to you in this week’s update, together with the detailed information-sheet regarding our return to church services. All of this represents the goodness of God to us, so let us receive it with thanksgiving, and eager expectation of what lies ahead.Let’s ask God to do a new thing among us, as we return to a form of church life that we may describe as ‘something beginning to resemble normality.’
Service this week
This week (DV) we’ll be looking at Q.25 in the Shorter Catechism, which looks at how Christ executes his office of priest, in both his sacrifice and intercession for us. Then we’ll give some thought to Psalm 92, which describes itself as A Psalm for the Sabbath Day.
Deacons are reminded that the Deacon’s Court meets next on Tuesday 4th August at 7.30pm by Zoom. Minutes have been circulated.
Easing of Lockdown Latest
As you know, the provisional return date is Sunday 9th August, and we look forward to being able to meet together for public worship, albeit in an altered and somewhat restricted circumstance.
A detailed information sheet about what to expect when you come to church is being issued with this update, and should give you a good idea of what to expect, from the moment you arrive right through to the moment you depart. Rest assured that all necessary steps will be taken to ensure a safe and comfortable experience as we get back-to-church. If you have any questions/comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the minister, or one of the elders or deacons.
For those who don’t yet feel able to return, one change to the way things work from 9 th August will be that the videos and CDs will not be available by Sunday morning, as now. At present, services are recorded on Friday, then made available by Sunday morning. But once public services resume, the recording will be on Sunday morning – therefore it will not be available until Sunday evening on YouTube. It is hoped that we will be able to get the CDs hand-delivered on Sunday afternoon.
The new church website is now up-&-running, still at the same address: falkirkfreechurch.org.uk. Thanks to Steven Randall for all his hard work in redesign, and also to Tom Scamman for his support of that work and all his work to date on our web-presence.
Keswick Convention 2020
This week is the week of the online Keswick Convention. There are Bible Readings with Christopher Ash in the Psalms each morning at 10am, and Evening Celebrations with various speakers at 8pm, Monday-Friday. Go to keswickministries.org and stream the video.
The Record subscriptions
It’s time for subscriptions for The Record to be paid. We don’t know when the print edition will resume, but if you pay a regular subscription, this can be paid once services resume. The amount owing is £12 for the 6 issues from Jan-June, and cash/cheque should be placed in an envelope marked, ‘The Record.’
I’ll be compiling the prayer update tomorrow, Wednesday. If there is anything you’d like to be included, please call or email me by 12-noon – especially if you or your family are self-isolating/ symptomatic, or have any kind of particular requests.
With warm Christian greetings,
David Randall, Minister