Sunday 2 August 2020

What do we do now? In this season? Corporately? It is not that we are going to be respected, liked, or honoured. In much of the West, if you meet to worship today, you will be fined because of social distancing. The saints of older times, who gave their lives, getting the very diseases they came to serve — The woke hate this.

Members of St George Serbian Orthodox Church have been fined more than $16,000 for breaching coronavirus restrictions yesterday.

Parishioners from the church, located in St Alban’s in Melbourne’s western suburbs, received ten fines in total when police officers found them attending a church service.

Current stage three restrictions ban any church services aside from funerals, where ten people are allowed, and weddings, where five people are allowed.

Father Borislav Petrovic confirmed the fines were issued at his church, and has apologised, saying he thought five people were allowed in the church.

The church was holding a service to celebrate the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel. Petrovic said he had intended to allow just one or two parishioners at a time to enter and light candles.

Petrovic said a man positioned on the church gates was supposed to stop any additional worshippers entering the building, but he had unfortunately left his post.

St George parishioners were not the only Melbournians who received fines for failing to comply with health restrictions yesterday. In total, the police issued a whopping 152 fines, taking the state’s total fines to 1690 since July 8.

God be with the pew sitters, for they have more courage and understanding at times that the priests. The priest is trying to give ceasar taxes and honour, but Ceasar sees himself as divine and (in the case of Victoria) above God: you can abort your fetus and euthanize your inconvenient, but woe betide if you if you kneel and pray.

I confess that Victorians are not of my Tribe. We have enough of their ilk coming over and trying to micro regulate us kiwis. There is a fair streak of anger — shown by the fact that no one does the COVID tracking the government wants, and are avoiding getting tested.

And we are going to worship God today.

Romans 9:1-5

9 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Matthew 14:13-21

13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

15 When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” 17 They *said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” 19 Ordering the people to [e]sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, 20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. 21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

Paul, quire correctly, was praying for his tribe, and Jesus was sent to the people of Israel and provided for them, healed them, and even fed them.

The symbolism of the feeding would have been obvious. He provided food out of basically nothing as manna arrive with the dew. He counted families — it was not 5000 men he fed but 5000 families, and in the wilderness manna and quail were gathered by the families.

Amd the twelve baskets left over were the number of tribes in Israel.

No wonder in the next few days many of the Jews wanted to sound the trumpet and raise up a warrior messiah. But Christ’s role was greater.

We are in nations, and we should pray for that nation and our leaders — that they will seek salvation, as will all of our tribe. But also that we shall be left alone to worship God, and not micro regulated by our secular or religious enemies.

For they hate us, as they first hated Christ.

And they know we are called not to be like them.