We can exercise freely now during the day and even drive to a place of exercise. God’s people look to him as our Father, one who cares for each of us and takes a supreme interest in who we are, whether we acknowledge him, love him and praise him or not. You rose to new life so that I may give my life to following you and know a new life in God. It is in those times that the nation recognised that hope and eventual deliverance from evil came from God himself. At the time of writing our Prime Minister, himself a recovered victim of the virus, has announced that we have passed the peak of the virus, meaning that less people are becoming infected and less people are dying each day, although our care homes have been critically affected and many illnesses and deaths have occurred in them. The Church, in whatever form it takes, will continue with this commission in faith and in the new normal and we will see Jesus name proclaimed and the world will continue to change as it is restored to God and healed, because our God is one who brings radical change, a new normal; salvation! You might be happy in your home or longing for contact with family and friends or even seeking a place to live and food to feed your family. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. People’s habits of shopping every couple of days have now changed to every week, to reduce the exposure to other people and those who have had a main shopping every month are now shopping more frequently because of the rationing on the number of items. This week is ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ encouraging us to be aware and take responsibility for our own mental health, to avoid slipping into the darkness of depression and anxiety which seeks to destroy, to be aware of what is happening to us and to talk about it to those we trust; to know the hand of encouragement which sustains us. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. The first time was at his crucifixion and now, after his amazing resurrection, he is ascending into heaven. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.’. Breaking the commandments from Christ have consequences of destruction in our world, but we of course sometimes find keeping the commandments difficult and would be nowhere without God’s healing grace, bought dearly by his only son’s death on a cross, followed by his resurrection and ascension. Rivers of Living Water JOHN 7:37-38 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and shouted, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. It has a feeling of coming out of exile. They would build shelters or booths to remind them of that deprivation and also celebrate the harvest by pinning fruit around their booth. For some people this loosening of restrictions hasn’t gone far enough, causing frustration. The joy of receiving this sacrament brings a physical feeding of a spiritual presence. Maybe we are asking the same question. Many businesses and workplaces are trying to work out how they get up and running again with restrictions and cautions in place that ensure we are safe and cared for. Heavenly Father, you are the creator of all good things and delight in us. Forgive us our sins and help us to live in you. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old–and Sarah herself was barren–because he considered him faithful who had promised. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. Perhaps obtaining food and provisions is one of your changed priorities. (Matthew 10:5-15): ‘These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Renew in us a right spirit, so that our faith may grow and through our growth in faith, we may play our part in serving you and see your saving grace grow in our world. In the midst of all of this we have also observed with horror video coverage of the death of a black man in Minneapolis, as he was arrested handcuffed and pinned down by police. Perhaps our prayer could be with the following lyrics. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Come Holy Spirit and fill me anew with the love and power of Christ. Rivers of Living Water is a small Christian Organisation run totally by volunteers; the small charity works in Africa to supply pure water bring help to those in need, irrespective of racial communities, it is non-political and brings a practical message of Christian love and hope to all the people in Zimbabwe. Can we call on Jesus’ name as this new normal is emerging? Washing hands with sanitiser is mandatory as well as a hair wash before the joyous cut and, of course, a face mask is worn throughout the procedure. Of course, many have experienced being treated badly, sadly this happens all too often. To send believers out, with the authority of God’s Holy Spirit, beyond their comfort zone, giving up what they have and taking very little with them and showing signs of God’s presence and his restoration and healing. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. Remember how you felt and then consider how God feels when we behave badly towards him and each other, his heart breaks with the pain. So it is with us. Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Amen. The fruits for the believer of the Spirit in their lives are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) and his gifts are numerous. This act has been undertaken by Christians for hundreds of years, it is our normal practice, yet the process is different, a new normal is emerging. “(Jesus Christ), was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. “Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. We are in a season of change. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. A visit needs to be booked in advance and sometimes a deposit is paid. We pray for your wisdom and discernment upon our leaders who have so many decisions to make and so many responsibilities on their shoulders, may they know your mercy and your grace. Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”. Have they changed during the virus pandemic? God has been and is at work through us. Hear the words of that famous hymn ‘Be thou my vision’ sung by Audrey Assad. Some, of course, have been impacted by the lockdown and do not want things to return to a pre-virus normality. But for those who put God first in our lives and in our relationships, there is a constant, a reassurance, a thankfulness for what we have and a thankfulness for the ‘heavenly’ treasures we enjoy on earth, like God’s provision for us, the chance to walk out each day, the availability of technology like the TV, the telephone or the video conference to keep us in contact and thankfulness for the work still available for us to carry out and do. Come Holy Spirit and bring your light in the storm of life. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:  I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Scripture gives us insights from God himself on how we should behave towards him and towards each other so that lives may be fulfilled and other Christian writers I have seen have also been led to this passage. This may be short term of course, but it feels as though there will be a ‘new normal’ as the media are describing our lives in the future. This week, in the UK, deaths from Covid-19 have exceeded 40,000 people. We deny ourselves and take up our cross. Paul met with the elders of Ephesus and told them this (Acts 20:32-35), as he was about to leave them. 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