We know that for God a thousand years is as a season in the night, but our memory does not last that long. David was looking back to the Judges, who he knew, and beyond that to Joshua and Moses, who as far in the past as Shakespeare and Elizabeth I are for us. They were not forgotten: and in his time the past was not that foreign. If one looks back to my childhood, the nation I live in was very different: much more homogeneous, without that much diversity. And kids played in backyards, roaming freely.
We are seeing people worshiping in this crisis security and health, when both are fragile. There are now requirements on the pastorate to get jabbed. As I said yesterday, this is nothing to do with health, it is to do with politics and spiritual warfare. Those who think we can survive as a church by letting a diabolical government micro-regulate us will find they have to repent of their error. If they have fallen deeply into this error, in tears.
We need to instead know that God has set the length of our life, and knows our days. His plans are indeed for good. We need to know that the faithful church will remain, even though last night we were considering underground church tactics so we can praise God in freedom. There is no freedom now. We are supposed to thank the government for allowing us a semblance of what we assumed. That we would be free to praise God, as the last five generations of New Zealanders were.
I would do as David did. Praise God. And pray that our leaders repent.
18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods? 24 And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people for ever. And you, O Lord, became their God. 25 And now, O Lord God, confirm for ever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. 26 And your name will be magnified for ever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel’, and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue for ever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed for ever.”
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes,[a] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practises falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
What do we need to do? We need to repent. There is always areas where we are fallen and broken. As we become more attuned to the spirit of God, these areas become obvious.
We need to accept that the megachurch model of worship may die. We will not be able to run a weekly worship service that is musically better than half the pop bands and has thousands worshipful together. The large crowds will not be allowed under the new tyranny.
I think this is why the megachurches are folding on the issue of the vaxx pass. They cannot think of church going on forever without their liturgy. I suggest they look at how a Roman Catholic Priest can use an obscure hall — Adam travels hours to get to a mass Ad Orientem — or the Anglicans, who can reduce their service to a half hour around the word of God.
We will meet in tens or twenties. We can outlast the poll driven neurotics who lead us.
Repent of your compromise with the government and their social welfare promises. Repent of tolerating the political requirement quietly. Christ tolerated the lepers. They were infectious, with something far nastier than COVID.
And then, let us choose to support those who will not discriminate. We will set goals.
And the main one will be that God gets the glory.
1. The liturgy of a classic church goes something like this: scripture, general confession, scripture, thanksgiving, scripture, collect, scripture, homily, communion. There may or may not be singing. There are variations in the liturgy, but the structure remains the same across the Orthodox, Catholic and Anglicans.
Within the reformed churches the liturgy is: Thanksgiving, scripture, confession, scripture, sermon (communion rarely).
In the megachruches and petnecostals it is Worship, worship, scripture, (communion rarely) sermon, altar call.
Everyone has a liturgy. The wiser churches examine it and write it down.