Major Linda passes along the following timely thought.

Keeping in touch
How often do we say it to one another….”Keep in touch…”
In these difficult and unprecedented times, I think we are all being reminded of the need for constant communication –
Right back at the beginning, God said “It is not good for man to be alone” and He created woman…and still gives to us all one another.
We have recognised that need in our group conversations over the last week.
We read, that, after what we call the “fall of man” (i.e. disobedience) He, God, went looking for Adam and Eve, saying “Where are you?” Genesis 3;9
They had dressed themselves in fig leaves to cover their shame, but God made them “garments of animal skin” (v 21). What an amazing God is this…He comes looking for us and changes our fig leaves into fur coats!!
At this time of Lent we are particularly reminded that Jesus prepared Himself to be the supreme sacrifice for our sin. He opened the way back for us and we are covered by Him.
So today, in the current situation when we are being told to “stay at home” “Keep 2 metres apart” etc the need for communication is still so important…….perhaps even more so.
My father used to say that there were 3 ways of communication and sending messages..,Telephone, Telegraph, and tellawoman !! That was 70 years ago and the world has moved of communication has moved on since then.

We have phones and mobile phones, “facetime” emails, electronic chats, individually and in groups…and oh how important this communication is to us all, especially at the moment to many who are otherwise isolated.
The offers of help through the doors, the parcels to those most in need, the amazing response of medical and caring people,
All these are a lifeline to so many. God bless them.
But sometimes all we need is someone to talk to….someone to listen.

So it is with our communication with the Lord our God. To talk to Him, to listen to Him. Sometimes we are so busy talking to Him, that we forget the listening bit!!
We read that Jesus often went aside to pray, (Luke 5;16) and we know, too, of His agonised prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
In Luke 22;32, we read “I have prayed for you, Simon, that you may not fail”
Put your name there, “I have prayed for you……….,that your faith may not fail…” and “strengthen your brothers..(and sisters)

A patient on my ward once said “I won’t be at breakfast this morning, I’m having Holy Communication”……
I have thought of her words so often over the years. How important it is to maintain our “Holy Communication”…how easy it is to be distracted by other things.

“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known;
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless;
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer”.

I have put an alarm on my phone for 12 noon to remind me to join with others in that noontime prayer.
How thankful we are to those who support us all by sending messages, music clips, pictures etc that lift our hearts to our Lord, and strengthen and encourage us as we reach out to one another.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4; 4-7.

“Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord!
Unnumbered blessings give my spirit voice;
Tender to me the promise of His Word;
In God, my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.
Tell out, my soul, the glories of His Word!
Firm is His promise, and His mercy sure.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children’s children and for evermore.