We are living in an unusual and ominous time. This coronavirus pandemic is bringing the world to its knees. The Lord warned that this is just “the beginning of sorrows” (Matt 24:8).
Singapore is not yet in a lockdown like in many cities and countries in the world. Nevertheless, all churches have to suspend worship services by mandate of the government. No church of more than ten is allowed to congregate at a single venue. This applies to other religious bodies, to pubs and clubs as well. It is meant to be preventive and protective. This potentially deadly virus should not be allowed to spread widely in our community. This suspension is necessary and the church should be cooperative. The Lord tells us to submit to every ordinance of man for His sake (1 Pet 2:13). But let’s pray this suspension will be lifted soon.
Worship Service in Cyberspace
We do well to help with the current situation, and so we do this—to hold our worship services in cyberspace. That is why you are seeing me on screen and not in person. You have the advantage—you can see me, but I cannot see you. But I hope to see some of you soon, especially during Holy Week which is just round the corner.
We welcome new members to the church. Those seeking baptism will be baptised on Easter Sunday. Those who have registered to reaffirm their faith or transfer their membership will have to sign a declaration of their full agreement with the church’s statement of faith as found in the church constitution. They will then be officially received as members of the church on Easter Sunday.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday services will be conducted online, April 10, 8pm and April 12, 10.30am respectively.
Worship Service at Home
As you have your Lord’s Day service at home, I would strongly encourage you to do so as a family. You are to be a participant, not a spectator. Family heads should take the lead in gathering the family together to watch and follow the worship service on the big screen (plug the YouTube video into your TV). Let us also maintain solemnity and have a worshipful spirit throughout the service. Read the Scriptures and sing the hymns out loud.
The government’s call for people to be homebound is a time to strengthen family bonds. Eat together and pray together as a family. Besides your Quiet Time, have family devotions. Catch up on family time, catch up on time with God. Meditate upon His Word. Do this regularly; make it a habit. The present crisis may just be a blessing in disguise. The Lord is saying it is time to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10).
Keep Yourself Updated
Staying in touch is important. So, do sign up to get updates through Telegram. Write to the church office if you are not already connected (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Updates are also posted on the church website (www.truelifebpc.org.sg). Please check the church website regularly for news.
With the Lord’s help, we will get through this. We pray the Lord to protect us, our families, our church, our nation from all harm and evil. Do share the gospel to your loved ones, relatives, friends, colleagues and classmates during this time. They need the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour more than ever, and it is a good time to share the good news.
SACRAMENTS DURING HOLY WEEK
“Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him; as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church and the rest of the world; and solemnly engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his word. There be only two sacraments ordained by Christ in the gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord; neither of which may be dispensed by any but by a minister of the word, lawfully ordained.” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 27.1, 4)
The sacraments are a means of grace to remind us of the salvific word and work of the Lord Jesus Christ to strengthen us in our faith as we continue to trust in Him and live for Him especially in such trying times.
As Holy Week is just round the corner, Pastor will administer the Lord’s Supper in some homes as arranged. We find this done in the early church: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers… And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:42, 46). As for baptism, it will be conducted on Easter Sunday. [Stop Press: Visitation is suspended in light of new restrictions.]
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:22–25).
At the present time there is a very widespread sickness which attacks many Christians and church-goers of all ages. This sickness makes them feel very tired and have a total loss of energy. Often it gives them a headache and other pains. Strange to say, this sickness only appears on Sundays. There are no signs of it on Saturday evenings, then Sunday mornings it is at its worst, but it usually wears off later in the day, and by Monday morning all the signs of it are gone.
Like other illnesses this sickness has a Latin name, Morbus Sabbaticus, or commonly known as “Sunday Sickness.”
The usual pattern of this sickness is that it strikes early Sunday morning, and the patients feel just dreadful and could not possibly attend Church. However they improve markedly by dinner time and are able to eat a hearty meal. Then after a short sleep, they feel well enough to go for a walk or a drive or watch some TV programme. Sadly, another attack comes on the patients about the time of the next Church service, but happily they soon recover, and have a hearty meal, and after a good night’s rest, all the symptoms have completely disappeared.
In treating this complaint, experience has proved that it can only be effectively treated from within the patient’s own heart and mind. When the heart is filled with love to God and desire to worship Him, then this “Sunday Sickness” wonderfully disappears. Those who have it should confess it as a sin to God and ask Him to deliver them from it, and to put within their hearts a sincere desire to hear His Word and to worship Him; then the Sabbath will be a joy and delight to them.
Do you suffer from Morbus Sabbaticus?
[Source: R Cameron-Smith, Saved in the Icy Waters and Fifty Other Stories (Tasmania: South Presbyterian Church of Australia, 1999–2004), 25.]
YOUR TITHE AND OFFERINGS
Please use either the church’s Unique Entity Number (UEN) or QR Code when using PayNow or PayLah to give your general offerings. Always confirm that the church’s name is shown before proceeding with the transfer. Address and mail all cheques for general or designated offerings to True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church, 1 Goldhill Plaza #03-35, Singapore 308899. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH OR CASH CHEQUES. The instructions for using the DBS Digibank app are found in the Telegram Channel.
Our UEN is T04SS0101DU01 and the QR Code is as shown:
1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-35, S(308899) email@example.com 6254 1287
© 2020 True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church