Easter again…

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb…….

It will be Easter again soon. Since last Easter (2020) our communities have had an up and down ride . Red zone, Grey zone, Orange zone but never a Normal zone. Let’s face it, it has been a tough year. Family visits are few and then only at a distance. Being careful, every time we go out. The masks are ever in our faces. We have come full circle back to the beginning. The 3rd wave they say.

But this virus is mean and nasty. Deadly in fact. And can be compared to the world-wide devastation that the Spanish Flu caused back in 1918-1919. (between 20 and 100 million people died, including some 50,000 Canadians.)

I think, the thing that bothers us the most is that we are not able to see the scope of it all. We are lost in the numbers and we are asking how does this affect us? How will it end? Sure the cities is where the problems are worse, but out here in rural Ontario, we are fine. And so we hear the loud and getting louder voices of denial. Those voices say: Where is the virus? We are all OK here and have not seen any bad scenes. None of my friends have been hurt. We think it is all over the top, these precautions are just scare tactics. Yet now we see (and experience close-up from friends affected) that the variants are making more people sick and appear to be harder to spot and control.

I guess what annoys (hurts) the most as the shouts of Pandemic gets louder, is that among all those voices which rebel (deny) against the ‘wise experts precautions’ (we are in this together: theme) about gatherings in groups especially without masks etc. there are many religious voices pushing the ‘it’s not so bad here’ and ‘no (authority) government’ can interfere in what we think and do especially at our worship centres and churches. Give us Freedom. Yes, they may be the ‘conservatives’ extremes, but still, should they (the ones who believe Jesus came and gave his life for the sins of the world) not be the ones that at least would consider carefulness (thankfulness) for their neighbour’s well-being? be serious in their consideration for the full expression of healthy kindness? and be thankful and compassionate for the giant exhausting efforts of our Medical care-givers? and eager to help in the task to see us all safe and the Covid patient admittance numbers go down? (see news reports about: pastor of Grace Life Church in Alberta, and Trinity Bible Chapel in Woolwich, ON and also Kingdom Worship Centre in Hamilton, ON and others)

Again and again, I have watched the reports on news media by the Premiers and Regional and City health officers who with anguish in their faces must count out to us the deaths of people everyday. Deaths that resulted sometimes from neglect and carelessness, crowds mingling together without any protection. Deaths that could have been prevented by simple kindness; wear a mask and wash your hands, stay home and minimize your contacts. Do not be a ‘spreader’ but a ‘helper’ and ‘protector’. Health leaders who in desperation demand that limits be placed on our communities to stop the spread and the filling up of hospital ICU beds with very, very sick people attended by care-givers that are tired and tired from the heavily loads they must bear with long work hours. Situations of panic and shortness of breath and energy, blood clots and life support machines. And so out of desperation our communities are put on hold and our normalcy is curtailed by sharp authoritarian rules. What is the normal again? How should we live? This is a world-wide pandemic!

Some authorities (beside masks and social distancing rules) (en)forced very strong community lock downs with no street access at certain times especially during the night to stop people from gathering in groups and having parties. Recently churches in Scotland rebelled against the harsh rule: Close the churches! No admittance! The authorities who meant well (to protect the people) when challenged in courts were found to be over zealous. Closure? No, but limited attendance with cautions, Yes! (the judge said: Yes, the virus is deadly and the care of the sick is urgent, with limited space and help and much PPE precaution.)

Is this a Freedom of Religion issue? Are the authorities telling us we cannot worship unless they give their permission? Is this obeying God versus obeying Caesar? Are we betraying our love for God by allowing to be persuaded by the governing (health concerns) authorities and the mass culture around us?

In his ruling in the Scottish case, the judge said: “It is impossible to measure the effect of those restrictions on those who hold religious beliefs. It goes beyond mere loss of companionship and an inability to attend a lunch club. I have not decided that all churches must immediately open or that it is safe to do so, or even that no restrictions at all be justified. All I have decided is that the regulations which are challenged went further than they were lawfully able to do in the circumstances which existed when they were made.” The Rev. Dr. Phillip (Glasgow) said on welcoming the ruling: “We realized the serious decisions to be made in response to the pandemic. However, the approach of the authorities to banning and criminalizing gathered church worship was clearly an over-reach and disproportionate. A dangerous precedent.” (source: BBC)

In perhaps another extreme at the Kingdom Worship Centre where people were seen in a worship video (March 18) without masks and gathering in groups in the sanctuary, the Pastor was quoted as saying: “The church has gotten so caught up with fear of Covid-19 that it thinks that people who are willing to risk their lives ( going to a worship service without masks etc) for the Gospel are careless people. That’s a lie from the pit of hell. These people care.” He further said: They (the people) need more than a mask, they need to see smiling faces, they need to feel somebody’s embrace. “The church must be willing to take the risk”. (Hamilton Spectator March 29, 2021) 10 people were later tested with Covid infections.

So where lies the moral decency and safe side on this pandemic road?

Some of us have to work, our communities must be maintained or else daily living will deteriorate with its subsequent results, our well-being then is threatened and will stop. Medical services and the like, and other maintenance concerns that contribute to that well-being for all of us are a must-do and must-have reality.

Where are you in all this? I urge you: be kind, keep your distance, wear your masks, be reasonable in your gatherings. Listen to the doctors. Remember the seniors and those who are health concerns. Let’s get THROUGH this TOGETHER. Love your neighbour as yourself. God bless you all.

They say with the coming vaccines there is light at the end of this bad time. A patch of blue sky at the end of our dark night. I hope! and I pray the vaccines will protect us and if we get sick, we will only experience a casual sickness and eventually all of us will have total indemnity and get back to NORMAL LIVING!

I will be getting my shot this week and hopefully the second a few moths later, and pray that they will be effective to protect me and so protect YOU against this terrible disease.

Happy Easter (worship) to you all. Let’s celebrate new beginnings through the power of our resurrected Lord.

JS March 21, 2021

Gospel of LUKE chapter 24: On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

HDCH

Hamilton District Christian Highschool      1956 – 2021    65 years of Blessings!

“The aim of education is the forming of an individual into an independent personality serving God according to His Word, able and willing to employ all given talents to the honour of God and for the well-being of their fellow creatures, in every area of life in where God has placed them.”  Dr. Jan Waterink 1890 – 1966

Reflections for the 50th celebration in 2006:

It now seems to me such a long time ago that we attended HDCH, back when it was still in its baby shoes. The whole operation was a learning experience, both for the students, the teachers, the Board and the community. Nobody had any real training or expertise in running a High School operation, let alone managing a bunch of (recent immigrant) teenagers who were just feeling their age and getting into the local culture. (girls, boys, hit parade, hockey, cars etc) (Confession: We (I) sure didn’t make it easy for some of the teachers!) It seems we were all struggling to make ends meet, both in the family and in our church and school communities and learning the new language and culture all at the same time. What a mixed bag of concerns, challenges and opportunities! How much easier it would have been, if we had just connected with the locals!? But no, we were following the cry of Dr. Abraham Kuiper: ‘There is not one inch of human life (the world) about which Jesus does not say “mine!” I remember the first day our family arrived in Hamilton and my dad said to us, just as a matter of fact: “You are going to Christian School.” (1956)

So up the mountain we drove in our blue 1937 Dodge, along the gravel road that was then West 5th Street, past the unpaved Mohawk Road, past the Brouwer’s home on the south east corner and up to Calvin Christian School. The school was situated in a mud marsh and consisted of the original two classrooms with a recent addition of washroom space, teacher office and two more classrooms. The place was full of mud brought in by the kids during recess and when it rained hard the cement block structure leaked at times, the well (sulphur) water smelled like ‘rotten eggs’, the desks were discards from the public school. We played baseball in the marsh reeds…….. but it was a ‘Christian’ school.

When the grade eight class graduated in 1956, it was decided to push through with grade 9 and so HDCH was born. We moved from the Calvin Christian School (1958) site to Immanuel Christian Reformed Church (then the newly constructed home-to-be of the Canadian Reformed Church) at 61 Mohawk Road West. Classrooms were in the basement and it was very much a ‘homemade’ location. Two by fours and plywood separated the (rooms) grades. A year later, we moved to the ‘Mount Hamilton Christian Reformed Church’ on Upper Wellington, where there was more space. It meant however that a lot of us would need to take the city bus beyond Mohawk Road (which cost an additional fare of 15 cents). No student fare was allowed as we were an ‘unrecognized’ school. (This ‘unrecognition’ was not corrected till 1961 when the second class of HDCH students graduated and received their official ‘Ontario Junior Matriculation’ diploma). A number of St. Catharines students were also added to our numbers and they arrived by a special bus driven by teacher Tony ten Kate or rode in with Rev. Wiebe van Dijk’s (‘this is not the Cuban revolution’) car.

One more move in 1961 to downtown First Christian Reformed Church at Charlton & Hess, and then to Athens Street off Mohawk Road completed the journey to our ‘own’ school building. It was all done within five years. A tremendous effort!

What a journey it was! These were ‘heady’ times, full of youthful energy and ‘Kingdom’ dreams and visions. A small but important start in claiming the Canadian scene for the Kingship of Christ. A foundational sense of building ‘for the Lord’ that would reach all the way to many Christian Schools; Redeemer University College and other institutions like ‘CLAC’, ‘Shalom Manor’, ‘Holland Homes’, ‘Christian Stewartship Services‘ and other endeavours.

How are we doing? do we still have this ‘Christian Kingdom’ zeal? Do our children see and ‘catch’ this ‘faith’ desire that was so strong in the 50s and 60s and 70s? Are we ‘passing on’ our Christian faith and passions?

Our parents were the ‘visionaries’, we the ‘users’ and then the ‘builders’, will our children be the ‘maintainers’ and with prayer, the ‘expanders’? Will and can we all continue to constantly renew the energy of doing Christ’s work in our adopted now HOME country Canada? Are we all (still) ‘ready’ for this task? Are you ready and willing?

It is my wish that we may always be found to be faithful ‘servants’ of the Lord Jesus Christ! For the ‘Message of the Gospel of Jesus’ is salvation, glorious, full of wisdom, love and light and above all the Truth! (John18:37)

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.”
Letter to the Romans Chapter 12 verse 11 (New International Version)

JS (2006) and Feb 23, 2021

(2021) Today HCH has a large educational complex at 92 Glancaster Rd, Ancaster, ON L9G 3K9, accommodating up to 500 students with a budget of 6 million dollars.

Top pictures – bottom row L to R: Science lesson in the kitchen of Mnt Hamilton CRC Church basement from l to r- Mr. Tony tenKate;John vanderHoek; Dick vanderSteen; Mary Appel; Ted Bootsma; Berend Hartman; Bill Hordijk – HDCH crest; the staff – Mr.Tony tenKate (science, math & music; Pastor Wiebe vanDijk (Principal – Bible); Miss Jesse Personaire (english, literature, math); Bert Witvoet (french); Lowell Witvoet (history); Picture of the Class of 1956 -57 (Grade 8 & 9) Below: Tuition certificate: 1965 -66 and Graduation Certificate (1961)

Déjà vu!

2021 will be the 30th Anniversary of the CELEBRATE RECOVERY program

Posted first on April 23, 2012 (A letter to those who study the Bible with prisoners)

I thought I had seen him before….. It happened at a Prison Bible study session and when I asked the young man, he said, yes, he had been here a couple of years ago. So what has happened? I said. The answer was somewhat evasive and I realized that it is hard to break out of a life style, especially when you are young, impressionable and are moving around in a community of like minded people. As one fellow told me: ‘Why work when I can stand on the corner of the street for a couple of hours and can get what will take another two months of hard work to earn? You shake your head and say, don’t they ever learn?

Have you ever wondered about that as you mark your Bible Study correspondence papers and write all those encouragement letters? Am I really making any sense? Will he or she make a new start in their life? How can I influence this young man or woman with the Gospel’s renewing Good News to break out of this cycle? Jesus also knew how hard it was for someone to change. He said “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to seek those that are sick.” He knew that he had to deliberately seek them out to get through to them to deliver his message of salvation. And as we know, it not only had to do with believing what Jesus said, but then also to change your life (life-styles) and to start following him.

Take Zaccheus. What pent up thoughts and motivations were stirred in Zaccheus’ heart that he wanted to see Jesus? (Even if he looked ridiculous in climbing that tree!) My guess is that he had been gripped by the words of Jesus. They had given him a ‘key’ that cleared a way for him to break free from his involvement in shady tax dealings. This was his escape from his addiction and bondage of the power of misguided economic wealth. Did Jesus not say to Zaccheus after listening to his confession of restoring wrongs, “Surely salvation has come to this house today”. ‘Amazing grace how sweet the sound of Jesus voice.’

Only those who know that they are lacking in themselves see this renewal as the key to a new beginning. What a powerful ministry Jesus had and continues to have in the lives of people. The 12 step ‘Celebrate Recovery’ program also acknowledges this in Step 1 and 2 where it states:

We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviours and that our lives had become unmanageable. ‘I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out’. (Letter to the Romans Chapter 7 verse 18 )

• We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. ‘For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose’. (Letter to the Philippians Chapter 2 verse 13)

Past studies have shown that up to 65% of the inmates in Canada’s prisons are 34 years and younger. Young men and women who will be the next influencers in the future lives of other young men and women. They will be setting the tone for our future communities and they are the ones that you are talking to in your Bible Studies and letters. Help them to see that in the un-manageableness of their lives, God’s power can forgive and heal. Be assured, you are making a difference for there are many who will never have to face a return visit to the time of their loneliness and unworthiness. Because you cared! Thank you Jesus.

The people criticized and grumbled that Jesus would dine with notorious sinners. So on another occasion not unlike this one, he told the crowd, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Gospel of Matthew Chapter 9 verses 12 & 13) NLT

JS

Based on the successful AAA 12 Step recovery program initiated in the 1930s, the ‘Celebrate Recovery’ is a Christian ministry started in 1991 at Saddleback Church under the leadership of John Baker, a former alcoholic.

d’olle Grieze

2022 will be the 540th year anniversary since its completion in 1482

The “d‘olle Grieze” has stood watch over the houses of the city and its nearby lands [1] for over 500 years. In all kinds of weather and seasons it looked proud and tall [2] on the north east corner of the center of the great square (‘Grote Markt’). The ‘kerk’ was snuggled up beside it, touching its eastern side to almost halfway the height of the first tower balcony and fanning out with its ten peaks, five back to back on each side like separate buildings joined together with their black slate roofs and brick walls, and in each peak a large window.

The far eastern end of the church was narrower again with a slate roof on which perched a choir loft straining in height and towering over the ten peaked roofs like a massive stone tent.It looked like a church should look. Majestic and grand, with its tower reaching up to the heavens, taller than any other structure around it. Against the south side and beside its main entrance way were two smaller houses called ‘het brood & boter huisje’ [3] while just around the corner on the south side and tightly nestled into the corner of the church and against one leg of the tower was the house of the ‘tower watch’, guarding the entrance to one of the three stone portals, on the south, west and north side that gave access to the tower. From here one could enter through a door to the stairway leading upwards. The stone steps worn by the thousands of shuffled footsteps, turned like a coiled snake inside the brick structure of the tower going round and round. A rope was attached in the center for support as one circled up the tower. Narrow slits in the walls gave a little light in finding the next step. At the first balcony one could see the massive bells [4] hung on large and thick beams and directly outside on the south side, a sun dial was hung to check the accuracy of the towers clocks situated just above the second balcony, their clock faces turned to the north, south, east and west. Above that and just below the gleaming golden crown the bell carillon was hung which played during the day at the top of the hour and could be heard over the ‘Grote Markt’.[5]

At the top – what a view one had of the city and beyond to the country side!

Back at street level, on gaining entrance to the church through its large doors, one was struck by the vastness of the place. It was large and stately, reminiscent of a great cathedral. In front against the tower wall, one could see the great organ built originally in 1480 by Rudolphus Agricola and rebuilt and expanded by the famous F.C. Schnitger in 1834, beautifully decorated with gold leaf in the decor of its time. It had been and has again become world famous. Organists have traveled from the Americas to ask for permission to touch it ivory keys and hear the pipes speak in their clear and germanic tones.[6] As it was played, the sound would travel through the walls and could be heard clearly as one climbed the worn out steps of the tower. Huge stone slabs covered the floor and as was common, contained the last resting places of those who had been a somebody in the city going back to 1550 or even before that. During the last renovations a discovery was made of 8 Christmas and 6 Easter scenes painted in the ceiling of the choir loft. Although for a short time Catholic, the populace turned with the Reformation into a solidly Reformed people who in 1672 defeated the attempts of the Bishop of Munchen (also known as ‘Bommen-Berend’)[7] even though he had launched a series of bombs to force it to surrender and take-over the city. That victorious event is still celebrated each year on the 28th of August [8] with a civic holiday and much festivity enjoyed by young and old.

The tower of grey stone, blackened over the years, was originally over a 100 meters high and boasted as the highest structure in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its height and it grand stature was the proud emblem of wealth and economic wellbeing of the northern province (‘t golden laand’) with the same name as the city, Groningen (‘áin wondre stad’). By the locals the tower was known as the “olde grieze” (the old grey one) That expression conjured up the idea that there was wisdom, strength and life experience in the structure that many a ‘Grunninger’ could look up to from a long distance away. Yes, there was even more, a feeling of comfort, of home and of family. This was their tower, their ‘Martini tor’n’, and their city. The only city (stad) of status [9] in the northern provinces of the Kingdom. Invincible, energetic, strong and proud. Like its citizens, reflecting the true Calvinistic work ethic which said that ‘van hard werken ga je niet dood’ (you do not die from working hard). They were a people with a conservative bend, quiet, industrious and yet with a dry humour that made them seem real and believable, deep but true and steadfast. Their dialect was hard to understand and had various variations as one traveled through the province, but they were all one.

In Groningen you either ‘goan noar stad’ or ‘komt oet stad’. (‘go to the city’ or ‘you come from the city’)

Around this setting my parents grew up and lived most of their lives. It provided for them a shelter, roots, a place of identity, a place that spoke of who they were and where they had come from.

This place was their home!


[1] Also known as ‘Stad en Ommelaand’. The Groninger folksong mentions this phrase in the song meaning the city and its nearby country lands. Gruninger Volks Lied. [2] Built around 1250, rebuilt in 1469 and restored during 1889-94 and then again in 1926 with major work done over a 20 year period to 1948.  In 1465 the tower was struck by lightning and in 1468 it collapsed, causing it to fall and destroy a large portion of the church, except for the extreme eastern part which remained intact. In 1469 the building of a new tower was begun taking 80 years to complete. In 1627 the wooden crown was placed on top of the structure. Its height is 96 meters. [3] ’’Butter and Bread’’ house. [4] First bell was made in 1627 and weighted 7850 kg. [5] ’Grote Markt’ means ‘large market or square’. This was directly to the south-west of the tower. At the west end stood the City hall started in 1777 and not completed till 1810 (due to the Napoleonic wars, when the Kingdom of the Netherlands became a province of the French Empire) in the grand gothic style with four massage stone pillars in front and two large stone steps leading up to the first floor front balcony. To me it looks very Napoleonic like. Right behind it stood the ‘Collecte huis’ also known by the locals as ‘Goud Kantoortje’ (Gold office) because here the citizen had to make their city tax payments. Above the front was fixed in Latin the saying of Jesus, ‘Date Caesar quake sent Caesar’ (‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar’ Gospel of Mark Chapter 12 verse 17) [6] Some of J.S.Bach’s organ works such as his trio-sonatas were recorded in the church in 1989 for the Naxos label. The organ was played by the famous organist Wolfgang Rubsaum. [7] The city was ably defended by General Rabenhaupt who refused to be intimidated by the Bishop’s fire power. [8] One of those festivities was a fireworks display on the market “Grote Market” in front of the tower every 28th of August. It started sharp with the striking of 10 PM on the tower clock. An event that I was allowed to watch several times, although my mother didn’t think I should stay out that late being only 10 years old. [9] There were others who had also been granted the privilege of city status but the ‘Groningers’ always tried to dominate the entire northern part of the Kingdom so that already in 1473 there was a law that forced the farmers to bring their grain to ‘stad’ to be milled and processed. In 1487 the city received authority from the German emperor Frederick to establish its own mint.

Can you see….

Can you see the future? Are you able to look into next month or 2 weeks from now and tell what is going to happen? Can you even see what tomorrow will bring? Well no, but we can plan what that will (hopefully) be and look-like, you say.

Well, we can plan but what it will look like for you and me is much more of a problem today, it seems to me, than it ever was before. Our lives plans have been messed around with.

Take the biggest issue of all, the Covid situation. At the present we are under ‘lockdown’ orders. Stay home we are told especially the Seniors among us. So what can you plan? Visits to the grandchildren? A cruise or a vacation in Florida? (yes, some are doing it but at what (illegal and health) risk?) (Plus restrictions as you hit the border)

Then there are the issues with children’s education, businesses closing and a general fear of getting the groceries at the local food market. The local paper says west Burlington last week has one of the highest percentage occurrences of the virus in Ontario.

We are all sapped-out hearing about these issues, especially the constant news about Seniors in Nursing and Retirement Centres being infected by the virus and losing their lives. What misery for them, loved ones and staff. Will it ever end? We are caught in a whirl wind of sickness and death.

Then we are told about the vaccines. Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik, AstraZeneca and others. They are coming, No, they are not. We will get them, well maybe, we are not sure! Projections, Plans (there you have it!) are that in Canada we will receive 6 million doses by March 31 or maybe 4 million and for sure, all Canadian, will be vaccinated by September. In the meantime we will take away some vaccines (2 million?) from the Bank reserved for the poorer nations and maybe replace them later? Well, we plan to replace them. We all have to wait and be patient. We will come through this, except some will be through it faster (fairer) then others. (Feb 11, 2021 news: Manitoba will order it own vaccine supply (2 million doses) from Providence Therapeutics in Calgary (possibly available by the Fall 2021) as the Feds promises are poorly (un)reliable.) Where is the Truth in it all?

The USA hopes to have all its citizens vaccinated by the end of July 2021, that is 300 million people! and Canada? What about the other nations?

What a mess! People are getting so skeptical and are cooking up their own versions of the TRUE news. Let’s tell it the way we see it. Who can see the future?

Am I letting it get to me. Yah, I suppose so…….However, I consider myself blessed as I am retired and my interactions with others are limited to walks around the neighbourhood and driving my wife for shopping. But what about others who have a (closed-up) businesses, out of work, or are Care-givers and mothers who must work and interact with (Covid-possible) people everyday. Wow!

For a while there was a slogan AD on TV: we are in this together….. Well some are in it a lot more than others. But we do all need to get this bug under control TOGETHER! See it through TOGETHER! Do you hear this, Anti-maskers promoters!

Pray for those on the front-line. (and for yourselves!)

Book of Proverbs chapter 3 : verse 29 says: ‘Make no plans that could result in injury to your neighbour; after all, he should be more secure because he lives near you.’ (Translation: The Voice)

A 400 year old poem says: No man is an island entire of it self; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away be the sea; Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me; because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. (author: John Donne)

Give a listen to the Victoria Chorale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycbrO9XSDwY

JS Feb 12, 2021

25th of January (2021)

COVID-19 – one year – the second wave – a prayer

O gracious God;

May your Name be honored and your Reign be kind and unhindered.

Deliver us from the mutating Covid-19 virus

And restore our neighbourhoods to a fullness of grace and helpfulness,

May we acknowledge our stubbornness and ignorance.

Give us wisdom, responsibility and compassion,

Because we are Yours and

Our world belongs to YOU.

Amen

Psalm 46 (A mighty fortress is our GOD)

God is our shelter and our strength.
    When troubles seem near, God is nearer, and He’s ready to help.
So why run and hide?
No fear, no pacing, no biting fingernails.
    When the earth spins out of control, we are sure and fearless.
    When mountains crumble and the waters run wild, we are sure and fearless.
Even in heavy winds and huge waves,
    or as mountains shake, we are sure and fearless.

Come, gaze, fix your eyes on what the Eternal can do.
    Amazing, He has worked desolation here on this battlefield, earth.
God can stop wars anywhere in the world.
    He can make scrap of all weapons: snap bows, shatter spears,
    and burn shields. (and kill viruses)
10 “Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.
    I am honored among all the nations.
    I am honored over all the earth.”
11 You know the Eternal, the Commander of heavenly armies, surrounds us and protects us;
    the True God of Jacob is our shelter, close to His heart.

(Translation: the Voice)