It occurred to me recently, that the entire New Testament was written to people who were not physically present - that’s the whole point of letter! Paul, and the other authors of the New Testament, wrote to people who they cared for deeply as people and as followers of Jesus. The authors of these letters hoped and prayed and wrote to encourage their friends to “press on” as followers of Jesus. 

We are so “connected” by technology and social media that we sometimes forget the lack of connection that the early believers would have experienced all the time. Reading Paul’s concern for his readers - especially while he was in lockdown (quite literally!) - has a new edge for me. Apart from my flock during this period of stay-at-home orders (without discounting the value of Zoom!) has, as for Paul, increased my concern for all of you - as people and as followers of Jesus. Are you staying connected to Him? Connected to others? Connected to the body of Christ? How can I know?

And so, I write in the hope that you will be encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit to know the grace of God to us in Christ and, knowing this grace, find hope and the courage to participate in the Father’s invitation to join in his renewing work!

I finish as Paul so often did; “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."

Marc Rader | Senior Pastor