We’re delighted that our Sunday services can resume this week. After sixteen weeks of online church, then another twelve weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time apart this year. Whilst we’re appreciative of being able to do church online, it doesn’t match being together in person.
As social distancing restrictions gradually ease, some of our ministries continue online. We look forward to our children’s, youth, and groups ministries resuming in person soon, when the Anglican Province gives the go-ahead. In the meantime, our Sunday services will proceed with the necessary precautions and health protocols. Whilst we understand that some people may not be able to join us on Sundays yet, we very much look forward to seeing those of you who can make it.
More than ever, this year has shown us that we are not in control. We can make our plans, but these plans can easily change. As we continue this week studying the Book of James, he tells us, ‘Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes’ (4:13-15).
James tells us an uncomfortable truth: we don’t know what the future holds. As Christians, we know where we’ll be in a million years, but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. There could be a fourth outbreak and the return of restrictions. There could be a longer than expected wait for a vaccine. You could lose your job tomorrow. We don’t know. Only God knows. As creatures who like to be in control of our agendas, this is profoundly unsettling.
So how can we handle this uncomfortable reality? James is not against planning. He’s warning against planning that doesn’t take into account God’s sovereign rule. James encourages in our planning to say, ‘If it’s the Lord’s will, I will do this…’. That means, we should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Am I seeking God’s kingdom in this plan, or my own? Am I dependant on him, or am I being arrogantly self-sufficient?’
God delights to work for the good of those who love him. So let’s entrust ourselves to him, come what may.