Faith and Fellowship
A reflection by Rev Ajay Singh
Dear Friends in Christ
I am sure you all are missing fellowship: missing meeting people, family, friends and Church worship. However, is it not good enough and a blessing that we are alive today after hearing the number of deaths in the country? God has a purpose for everyone’s life and He will be using us to fulfil His purpose. Faith and fellowship is a vital part of our life.
Although the Government has unlocked many venues in order to support the economy of the country, be wise and vigilant as the storm is not yet over. Much instruction and education has been given to both organizations and the public but now it’s up to us to find a way to be safe and allow others to be safe.
The Methodist Church has provided guidance for the reopening of churches. This involves many safety measures and risk assessments, and an action plan to make our our places of worship sanitized, clean and safe. It’s now up to the managing trustees of a church to decide what form of service is possible given that singing, responsive reading and speaking aloud is restricted and social distancing of at least one metre plus has to be observed.
Many churches are struggling with their new responsibilities. Some, wisely, have decided not to reopen until the end of August and are reviewing the situation in the meantime. Only one church in our Circuit – City Road Methodist Church – has reopened, but for private prayers only, and this after taking care to put every safety measure in place. We have to be careful at all times as it is said: “A slip in a moment can result in an accident”. This is a time to be careful and hold each other in our prayers so that our faith is not lost through the challenges we are facing. However, we set our eyes to the Lord to seek his strength.
Paul reminds us in his letter to Ephesians 4 : 1‑3: “I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of Spirit in the bond of peace.” Mental stress, domestic violence and broken relationships are quite a common factor these days in many lives and it may be the impact of lockdown with its job losses, financial struggle, etc., which are troubling many families.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is from Matthew 13 : 24‑30, 36‑43 about the parable of Weeds among the Wheat. In verse 30 it says: “let them both grow together until the Harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Whatever we do in this world, at the end of the day we will be accountable to God. We cannot be spared the day of judgement where the Lord (reapers) will segregate the wheat from the weeds.
These days you can take your time to reflect on your understanding of your faith. The real way of serving in faith will be bearing each other with patience and humility. This is not only for the leaders to follow, but also for all who have faith in God and a willingness to serve Him in His mission by learning how to practice our faith in the given situation.
(Please bear with me as I am taking off the next two weeks and so will not be providing a reflection.)
Rev Ajay Singh