Covid -19

On Sunday 5th July Zion will reopen for public worship.  We will meet for one service each week, at 10.30a.m. on Sundays.  We will be observe social distancing and there will be protocols in place to ensure our safety.  A letter setting out how this will work can be read here.

 

What does it mean for us to be able to return to church after this great absence?  To be able to worship God together is a great treasure.  Our Church is called Zion after Mount Zion, a place in Scripture where God’s people went to be close to God and to hear his voice.  It is a ‘thin’ place, where the divide between earth and heaven breaks and we become united with God and with all those who have gone before us.

 

To meet to pray and worship together is to say, ‘I am here to meet with God, and that I expect God to meet me and to change me and to challenge me in equal measure’.  Worship is about giving God his due, but also about our own transformation into being more fully the people of God, shot through with God’s healing and forgiveness, his joy and his peace.

 

It is colossal thing we do on Sunday, and something we shouldn’t be blasé about.  This lockdown absence, this extended Lent, this dark night of the soul, has given us an opportunity to come back to public worship with a renewed zeal and expectation and longing to encounter the living God in our liturgy.

 

I suggest each one of us undertakes some form of preparation for Sunday.  Amid the hand sanitiser and facemasks let’s not lose sight of the bigger risk – that we waste this moment.

 

This year we missed out on our Easter Liturgies.  We missed out on renewing our baptismal promises.  I include this act of renewal here, and encourage each one of us to take some time to sit and think on this before Sunday.

 

Do you renew and affirm the promises made when you were baptised?

I do.

Do you turn in faith to Christ?

I do.

Do you then renounce all evil?

I do, by God’s help.

Will you obey and serve Christ?

I will, by God’s help.

And now I ask you to make the profession of Christian faith into which you were baptised, and in which you live and grow.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world?

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed the human race?

I believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in his Holy Spirit who gives life to the people of God?

I believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.

This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.