Dear friends,

Someone was praying for forbearance:- “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me NOW”.
I’ve been struck from the final chapter of James how the apostle urges his brothers and sisters to be patient, not once but three times over.

“Be patient until the Lord’s coming”
James 5 v7

“Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near”
James 5 v8

“Be patient like the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord”
James 5 v10

It’s very easy to be impatient… for better weather, for home schooling to be past, for the summer holidays to come, but impatience robs us of the present.

The gift of God’s presence.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if after lockdown had past, we simply returned ‘to normal’ having learned nothing from this time of confinement?

And it won’t last for ever. Subject to the Exec’s review after St Patrick’s Day, there is a cautious expectation that congregations in NI will be able to meet again for in-person gatherings from Good Friday, 2nd April, with all necessary precautions and mitigations in place. If that happens, we would hope to be able to meet on Sunday morning 4th April for our All Age Easter Day service.

There are other important services also pencilled in as well, such as the postponed Congregational Meeting to ratify the election of our new elders after worship on Sunday 11th April, the Ordination of our elders elect on Sunday evening 25th April and our Halls opening celebrations weekend 8th & 9th of May. Now of course any of these dates may change, but scripture promises patience WILL be rewarded for those who wait on the Lord.

I love that quote from the late JI Packer who said “Your faith will not fail while God sustains it. You are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you!”
While we may be impatient for a new day, let’s make the most of the gift God has already granted to us and eagerly anticipate what is yet in store.

With warmest best good wishes from Frank

God will hold us fast.