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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query exile. Sort by date Show all posts

A Time Of Exile

We do love a bit of Tom Wright, so excuse us for taking a look at this recent article about him and his new book (God and the Pandemic) on Time.

Exile is classic biblical language and is appropriate for this time under the coronavirus pandemic in which our church buildings were forced to close. The Israelites experienced a number of periods of exile, the two best known being their time in Egypt and their time in Babylon, which most people will know from Boney M's 1978 song version of Psalm 137 "By the rivers of Babylon...".

We've been planning to get The Gathering open again in Firgrove for a while now and just before SA went in to Lockdown Level 1 we said in faith the we would reopen on Sunday 4 October.

So it was pure joy for that faith to become reality as we Gathered again after almost seven months of being unable to.

Thank you LORD!

It was very exciting to get the news from President Ramaphosa that the faithful may gather under strict guidelines. It was exciting to think about The Gathering getting together again from June 7th, but as pastors we also have a duty of care of our church members and we need to be leading by example in how we navigate our way out of the current crisis.

For The Gathering it feels right that we remain in exile for just a little longer.
Times have changed at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen but thankfully some things remain the same, but more on them in a moment...

It's sad that for now we can't allow our regulars to come inside, take a load off and enjoy a cup or three of warm delicious homemade soup, but we are trusting that this time of exile is limited and some day soon we'll be able to sit together again as friends and family, sharing stories, laughs and prayers.

For now, we are forever pursuing clean yogurt pots and the odd ice-cream tub to serve our soup in, as well as sanitising everything constantly. And it still feels wrong to be giving folks a pot of soup and asking them to go straight home with it. We miss the interaction with our regulars so much, but again, we hope and trust that this will draw to an end one day soon.

On Tuesday President Ramaphosa addressed the nation and gave churches and other faith groups the right to start meeting again in their buildings, though with strict conditions.

At the same time, he called for a National Day Of Prayer for today, Sunday 31 May.

The Gathering has made the tough but right decision to remain in exile for a while longer, but as we Gather this morning on WhatsApp we are proud to be standing with the President & the nation and answer his call to prayer for South Africa.

Today our Gathering will be entirely given over to prayer for this nation and the situation we find ourselves in.