As wild, reckless people protested on streets round the world, our small church, 45 miles from London, got on the phones as usual to remember the Lord Jesus on Sunday morning. How lovely and peaceful it was to spend an hour praying, looking at scripture and learning and getting closer to God while elsewhere the world was going mad. (Tongham Christian Fellowship, Tongham, Surrey, England, lockdown service, Sunday, June14, 2020)
Leading the service was one of our members, and he prayed this: ‘Lawlessness abounds in our country, and I pray that the government will stamp on it hard and show people they cannot just do whatever they like.’ There was a hearty ‘Amen ‘ to that.
He also read from Psalm 46:10, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ So nice to know God is always in control, whatever blockheads do on earth.
He went on to read Psalm 103, our wondrous blessings.
A retired nurse prayed that the government and police would have the strength and courage to combat lawlessness on the streets.
There were many other prayers – for the sick, for Israel, for Benjamin Netanyahu to come to faith in the Savior, and for Marvin and Orit Kramer in Haifa who provide aid for single mothers who decide not to abort their babies. The Kramers are not a registered charity here, so it is difficult to get money to them, and they try to cover at least the first year of the baby’s life. Their ministry is called A Future and A Hope (www.afutureandahope.org.il) and is well worth supporting.
Our guest speaker for the day was the Rev. Ronnie McCracken from Northern Ireland, a larger than life passionate evangelist, who has done so much in so many countries for so many poor people that I would not know where to even begin.
He told us about a gypsy named Harry Smith and known as Angry Harry because he was always fighting. But now he has a new nickname, Happy Harry, because somehow he came to know the Savior of the world and Jesus changes people from the inside out.
He said Harry had been diagnosed with cancer and could not swallow, but had said: ‘If Jesus heals me, wonderful. If He doesn’t, wonderful. Whatever happens, it’s wonderful!’
And you know, he is right!
Ronnie asked for prayers for his friend Harry and that he would be a testimony to all the gypsies round the country.
He went to one of his favourite Bible passages, Isaiah chapter six, when the beloved King Uzziah had died, one of the best kings of Judah. The entire nation mourned and Ronnie said now, with 41,000 said to be dead of the virus now in the UK, so many people were mourning.
‘There is so much sorrow. Would that we would hear from high places a call to a day of prayer – from our monarch, from our politicians...’
He said in Isaiah’s day it was a time of uncertainty. Would the nation go back into idolatry? And he related it to our day and wondered when churches would be allowed to reopen.
He said we could lose sight of God, of who He is, high and lifted up, and always in control. He has not abdicated. God is still on His throne, with the mysterious seraphim crying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.
He said God’s character is holy, and how can we stand before Him? We were rebellious, but have been brought near by the blood of Jesus.
Referring to the Black Lives Matter movement and the rioting around the world, he said George Floyd was a criminal, not a saint, and none of the people on the streets seemed concerned about the millions of black babies murdered in abortions. Those black lives didn’t seem to matter. (Of course, no one condones what happened during the arrest of that man. - PF)
He said one of God’s names is Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts – the Lord of billions and billions of angels, myriads. We are kept by His power until the day we stand in His presence.
In the meantime, what a privilege to serve God in whatever capacity He gives us, however lowly it might be.
He noted that we gentiles are so privileged to be grafted in along with the Jewish believers. And what a day is coming when the church, the Bride of Christ, the redeemed of all nations, Jews and gentile believers together, will be with the Lord of Hosts.
He said our thinking should be vertical, looking up, and that the prayers of believers would all be answered sometime, some way. They were all kept in a golden pot before the throne of God in heaven and He would answer our prayers at the right time.
The meeting closed with a prayer that more Jews would come to know the Lord of Hosts.
Note: Sorry to take so long to get this written up and on our website - too many distractions in our lives this week and essentially lazy!