A Word from Richard
I was struck this week with the comment: what we have lost so much of, many in our world have never and can never enjoy.
For some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, there is no privilege of meeting together in one place, in safety, without fear of the authorities. Arrest and imprisonment, false accusation and betrayal are experiences known and lived with. And then without a breaking of faith, they without ceasing declare that Jesus is Lord.
For others, there is no privilege of worrying about empty shelves. There never has been enough food to go round. Each day is a search for the basics, never mind the luxuries.
For more, there is no privilege of an NHS hospital service, a confidence that however stretched our medical care is and will be, we will be seen, attended to and offered some of the best care in the world – and without asking for our credit card.
In these days, we have the privilege of learning in a small way of how life is for the many, and of discovering that the joy of physically gathering to worship is not a certainty we should take lightly.
In the first century, the early church lived on the edge, knew of suffering and privation, and was encouraged by its leaders (Hebrews 12:11-15 [NLT]):
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterwards there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.
How can you support others at this time?
1/ Donate to the Vicar’s Discretionary Fund though: Sort code: 40-52-40; Account No: 00020562 Reference: VDF [your surname] – or send a cheque marked on the reverse ‘VDF’, payable to Christ Church PCC Bedford, to: The Treasurer, Christ Church, 140 Dudley Street, Bedford, MK40 3SX
2/ Bring appropriate food for FOODBANK – the collection in the Hub is open on Tuesdays between 12.30pm and 2.45pm, or leave with Richard (115 Denmark Street) or John (161 Dudley Street) and they will hand over to the Foodbank team
Foodbank at Christ Church gave out food for 57 people this past week. Foodbank Bedford gave out food for about 600 people last week – usually that's the monthly number.