We’re going to be doing this a while and, for most of us, we’ve done it no more than twice now. So, here are some ways we might be able to do it even better next time. Also, worth checking out this video from the Speak Life lads.
‘God is not socially distant from us, even when we remain (for the present) socially distant from each other. What’s more, there will be no social distancing in eternity!’
It is becoming something of a full-time job in itself just reading the posts about communion in the coronavirus lock down era. Garry Williams offers his two pennorth here. However you cut it, the gathering of the local church is required for the Lord’s Supper. ‘No matter what role the symbols have (to remind or to act as instruments of strengthened spiritual union), God has still given them: one loaf, one cup, and the physically gathered act of sharing. Who do we think we are to change what God has commanded?’ Also worth checking out Graham Shearer’s helpful article on this same topic here.
This is a good one: ‘Make your sermon monologues feel like dialogues, by listening hard to people’s stories and questions, and then laboring hard to connect the living Word to your specific hard place.’
I am sympathetic to much of this. It’s not that the government advice is wrong but that the pressure to do something, combined with the tendency of police chiefs to overreach their power, should rightly cause us to at least ask these questions.
‘To be a false teacher cannot ever be justified on the grounds that it is “loving”, “inclusive” or “tolerant.” It is unloving because it ensures that people will be condemned rather than justified and saved. It is therefore supremely dangerous and unloving to allow false teachers to remain in the church, spreading the “fake good news” of their false gospels. If people need to be protected against Coronavirus by “social distancing” so as to save lives and reduce the death toll, so the church needs to protect people from false-teaching by church discipline, which is essentially a form of ecclesiastical social distancing.’
‘Self-justifying subjective righteousness is self-condemnatory. By our own reckoning, only the very best person makes the grade. But acknowledging our own unrighteousness means that we are caused to look to the only way of salvation. When we recognise that we are not good, and nothing we can do will change that fact, we might throw ourselves on God’s mercy.’