A New Thing!

Isaiah 43 vs 18 to 21: 18  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19  See, I am doing a new thing!    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 20  The wild animals honour me the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, 21   the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” When I was growing up it was really important to my parents that we attended church on a Sunday, wherever we were. Richard and I have just returned from holiday and for the first time we attended Church on a boat! There was a resident Chaplain on board throughout the cruise and he held two Sunday services and prayer/reflection times through the week too. The first Sunday we read Isaiah 43 verses 1 to 11 and 18 to 21. If you have the time, I would strongly encourage you to read this full chapter and see how it relates to our present times. The verses are so encouraging. The Israelites were going through difficult times but the Lord states throughout these verses that He was there for them and He is for us. He has called us by name; He will save us as we go through deep waters; He will guide us; He loves us. There are so many promises that we can hold on to from these verses. So many of us have struggled, and are still struggling, with the impact of Covid19, whether from the virus itself or its impact on other aspects of our lives. But we can hold on to these promises that we are not on our own. I still love the poem about footprints in the sand; when things are tough, we can rely on one set of footprints as God hoists us up on His shoulders or holds us close to His side and carries us through the storm. We are not alone in our life journey if we have Jesus in our hearts and this is a hope that we can share with others as we start to meet again. But what of these final verses in Isaiah 43? It is important that we do not dwell on the things of the past that would serve to pull us down to those dark times but that we look forward to the new thing that God is preparing for us. He is an amazing loving Father who wants the best for His children but also knows what is best for His children. Over the past months so much has changed but look at what new things have already begun. I am so excited that we now have the CDW foodbank based at our church, we are forming a stronger partnership with Christ Church Newcastle, the notice board outside the church is being used in a new way to provoke thought and those of you who have been inside our church building will have seen a change to the decoration in the main part of the building. These are all changes that none of us could have seen at the start of the Pandemic but have very much been the Lord at work in our fellowship. As we move forward in the weeks ahead let’s look to the way that the Lord wants to lead us out of this wilderness and seek to follow His path. Ali