As summer is here, it is easy to think that we have moved beyond the challenges of the pandemic. Restrictions have been lifted. Protocols that shaped our lives for two years are no more. We can just get on with life and not worry about things. But Covid is still among us.

On Thursday morning, Pastor Gary tested positive for Covid. He is at home and resting and recovering. The staff continue to monitor themselves and have been careful for your safety as well. Since Pastor Gary was out of the office on Wednesday, our exposure as a staff has been minimal.

What has kept us going as a church has been our aim to continue to love one another by being mindful of those who are vulnerable around us. As a church, we have come through the pandemic stronger together because we have not fought for our rights but sought to follow the law of Christ – to love one another just as Christ loved us (Gal. 6:2; Rom. 15:7; Eph. 5:2). We love by giving up our rights, laying down our lives, not by insisting on our own way (Matt. 16:24-26). We insist on the good of others around us, and this good will look different to each of us depending on various circumstances (Gal. 6:10).

What I thank God for is a church that held together by submitting, loving, revering, and honouring the Lord and one another. We came together rather than be fragmented like many others. We kept our eyes on gospel priorities.

These attitudes are what define us as Christians. The law of Christ is the law of love. While the Old Testament law was summed up in loving God and loving neighbour (Matt. 22:37-40), it was powerless to change the heart (Rom. 8:3-4). But what the law of Christ does is he places his Spirit within us and empowers us to love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us (Ezek. 36:26-27). This is the most pronounced difference between the old covenant law and the new.

And in the church of Jesus Christ, our love for one another displays to the world that God sent his Son (1 Jn. 4:9) and that his coming for us has changed us so that we love one another (1 Jn. 4:19).

As we continue to care for one another, let’s continue to serve one another, encourage one another, watch out for one another, spur one another on in love and good deeds, and all the more as we see that Day approaching (Heb. 10:25).

With love for Christ and you,

Pastor Andrew

Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.