A letter to the Combe to Combe Mission Community – June 2020

Dear Friends.

            We’re in a time of great uncertainty. I’m writing this to you shortly after Boris’ address to the nation on the 10th May. It may be that by the time you’re reading this we are given a little more information, but I am certain that things will still be greatly unstable no matter who you are. Each of us is being effected different by the situation, but none of us are immune from the virus, or the effect it is having on the nation and the world.

            It is understandable therefore that we are all looking for some signs of hope, of stability, or normality. We are all waiting to be told that everything is under control, that there is no need to worry, that we can socialise with out extended family, and friends, and the church again. It is not surprising therefore that some people have resorted to conspiracy theories to find meaning in this pandemic. Unfortunately this has lead to all sorts of dangerous practices, and groundless, prejudice theories. It is important that we listen to the experts and follow the advice given, and in doing so not only be committed to the truth (a core Christian principle, but protect ourselves and others in the process.

            However, there is another trap that many of us can fall into – placing our hope into the wrong place. Hope is important as it allows us to endure through the present trials, and press on to better things. But if we place out hope in the wrong place, it can become a false hope. At this time I think that we can place too much hope of the government, on medical staff, and on scientists. Please hear me correctly. These things are good and should be encourage to fulfil there roles. I know we don’t all agree on politics but many vulnerable people would be in worse conditions if not for their actions (look at countries with poor infrastructure), and I doubt I need to tell you the amazing work medical staff are doing to care for us, and other scientists looking at research towards vaccines (just to mention a few of the roles). These things are good, and right, but we must remember their limitations. They, by necessity, plan, speculate and react, but can never truly solve the heart of the problem, because that is the problem of the human heart.

            Our hope then must be in the one who can make an end of sin, heal humanity to its intended role and purpose, and restore all things. In other words our hope can only truly be in God and the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. If we hope in anything else, we hope in vain. In God’s grace he meets us now, walks with us in our pain, strengthens us by His Spirit, but we await the fulfilment of his promises patiently. Have a read of Romans 8: 18-30 and reflect on what you read there.

The words of the old hymn put it well (also ‘Cornerstone’ by Hillsong):

“My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name

Oh Christ the solid Rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand”

Therefore let us listen and be thankful to the organisations that help us to thrive and look forward, but let us reserve all our hope for God, grounded on the solid Rock of Jesus –

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people –for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

(1 Tim 2: 1-2)

BUT

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.”

(1 peter 1: 3-6)

           

On another note, here’s a reminder of what is currently happening at Pip and Jims Ilfracombe, St. Peter Berrynarbor and St. Peter ad Vincula Combe Martin every week. Everybody is welcome to come and join in any and all of these events. You can find out more, and access the links on our website

www.combetocombechurches.co.uk

  • Monday, 10am – Virtual Coffee Morning
  • Wednesday, 7:30pm – Virtual Home Group
  • Sunday, from 10:30am – Online Sunday worship Service
  • Sunday, 7:30pm – Telephone Compline

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Peter

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