Reading

Heb 10:23-25    Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
 

Reflection

The world has changed with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. And that raises questions about how we might live in this strange new world of social distancing, food hoarding, and anxiety affliction.
 
The passage from Hebrews reminds us to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering. That means we do not allow external circumstances to dictate our ultimate allegiance. The world may have change, and our daily lives may look a little different but our commitment to Jesus should remain uncompromised. In fact, we should be intentional about holding our course in following Jesus. The reason for that is given in our passage. Jesus, the one who has made promises to us, is faithful. Because Jesus is faithful, no matter what is happening in our world we can trust that he is the one who can ultimately help us. It may feel like a storm is raging and our boats are being rocked, but Jesus is our hope and he is the one to whom we can look to for help, reassurance, guidance and salvation. Jesus is the one who can calm the external storm rocking the boat, with the waves crashing down. Furthermore, Jesus is also the one who can calm the internal storm of anxiety and fear raging in our hearts. We can trust that he is able to do this because he has made promises to us and is faithful to keep his promises.
 
Verse 24 provides a further challenge, now is a particularly apt time to provoke one another to love and good deeds. Others may be tempted to hoard goods and resources, but because we have Jesus and his instructions to love one another and share our goods, we can tangibly benefit those in need and exercise love to those in need. This raises complications in our current way of life, particularly from verse 25. How do we obey Scripture about not neglecting to meet together, and remain safe and physically apart in halting the spread of this virus? This is where digital consumption can be, and is proving to be, a major positive. Churches all around the world are switching to online services or rethinking the way they gather. People are connecting regularly through FaceTime and Skype, even hosting small-group meetings through digital interfaces, encouraging one another and providing much needed social support.
 
We can remain faithful to the intention of Heb 10:25 and still meet together, we just might not do that with close physical proximity. Physical proximity is important; I would argue a very important aspect of Christian community. However, in times of a pandemic, wisdom allows us to be flexible and intentional about sustaining relationships and faithfulness to Jesus is a variety of ways that do not prove detrimental to others and ourselves. So let us consume digitally and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities to communicate care, commitment and solidarity with those we cannot physically be close to.

 

Prayer

Gracious God thank you for the wonders of the modern world of technology. Thank you that we are able to connect and stay in touch with people who are physically distant. We pray for wisdom to navigate and negotiate this strange new world of physical distancing. Please keep us safe and connected. Thank you
 

Recent posts

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 — Tearfund New Zealand

Today marks one year since the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port in Lebanon killed more than 180 people. As one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded, it left hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands of people homeless and unemployed. Your support enabled our local partner MERATH, a Christian NGO in Lebanon, to help thousands of vulnerable individuals and families. Here’s what we were able to do with your donation.
 

Read more

My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

Monday, 02 August 2021 — Juliette Epstein

When it comes to ethical fashion, there’s always a bigger picture. Here are three things I have learnt since being an ethical fashion intern at Tearfund. I hope these tips will help you think about how and what you're consuming and that my journey will help yours!
 

Read more

Out of a mother’s nightmare comes hope after toddler falls from a second-storey window

Out of a mother’s nightmare comes hope after toddler falls from a second-storey window

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 — Compassion International

When three-year-old Brisaida fell from the second storey of her house, her mother couldn’t utter a word. How was her daughter going to receive the urgent help that she needed in a country where health services are inadequate? Read on to find out how this story ends. 
 

Read more

Sponsor gives the gift of space to sleep

Sponsor gives the gift of space to sleep

Wednesday, 28 July 2021 — Compassion International

Paulin and his siblings used to spend their nights barely fitting in their small house. But Paulin's family received a financial gift that allowed them to build a house. Now they have space to spread out at night. 
 

Read more

Ten photos that bring to life our Empowher women

Ten photos that bring to life our Empowher women's events

Tuesday, 27 July 2021 — Grace Ellis

Tearfund hosted two Empowher women's events, one at Eastgate Christian Centre and one at The Upper Room. The events were a great opportunity to bring women together, be encouraged and do something powerful in the lives of mothers and babies in Indonesia through our new Mums and Bubs project. Take a look at ten photos that bring to life the events!
 

Read more

New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

Monday, 26 July 2021 — Morgan Theakston

On July 30, it is World Trafficking in Persons Day and we're shedding light on why the recent US TIP Report has downgraded New Zealand to Tier 2. When it comes to government efforts to prosecute and prevent human trafficking, New Zealand is falling behind the UK, US, Australia, France and many other countries.
 

Read more

Siblings are top achievers despite their struggles

Siblings are top achievers despite their struggles

Monday, 26 July 2021 — Compassion International

Although they were found struggling to survive, educating their children has always remained a priority for Nitsuha and Amanuel’s parents living in Ethiopia. With support from Compassion, the siblings scored the highest grades in their classes.

 

Read more

Show more