A NOTE FROM JOHN
I hope you’ve been doing well these last few days. I’ve been thinking of you, and, with the rest of the Carey staff team, praying for you.
We’re all waiting the Government’s announcement at 5.30 pm today. Apparently, the Health ministry doesn’t expect the country will go into Alert Level 4 from tonight. However, with the number of cases growing, and no point of origin yet identified, I think it is safe to assume that Auckland at least will remain at Alert Level 3 for the next week or so. How does this make you feel?
I was reading this morning about the disciples walking the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). It was a difficult journey. They were bewildered and saddened by the events of the previous three days. Their faces were downcast. Luke says that as they were walking along that road “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.” But they didn’t recognise him. It wasn’t until their journey was finished that they realise it was Jesus. Then they exclaim to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
I suspect many of us feel like those disciples. The events of the last three days have dashed our hopes and deflated and our spirits. As a nation, we worked so hard as a nation to eliminate the virus, and now here we are again. On a personal level, we found the last lockdown really difficult. It affected our studies, our relationships, our health. We’re also conscious of the impact of lockdown on those around us, especially on those who are most vulnerable – the poor, the elderly, the sick, the lonely. This journey feels difficult.
But Luke 24 gives me hope. It reminds me that Jesus is walking with us, even when we don’t recognise him. In our grief, in our anxiety, we might not see him. But he is with us. The word of God says, “surely I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). He is “close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
As the disciples on the road to Emmaus discovered, it’s by lingering in the Scriptures, that we encounter our risen Lord. I pray that in your reading and study over the coming days you might find your heart strangely warmed. May you hear Jesus speaking to you, comforting you, challenging you, energising you.
With the campus closed, there will be no community lunches, or chapel for the next two weeks. We will continue, however, to meet online for community prayers each Wednesday at 12.40 pm. Here’s the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/94687555918. Please feel free to join us as we pray for one another and our country. And please reach out if you need help of any kind. We are here for you.
Ngā mihi nui,