No way! A disagreement pandemic.

The vaccine saves us, or not? If there is one thing the pandemic has brought us, it is an explosion of disagreements. Everybody seems to know better. Everyone has their own opinion.

What does this mean for when we get together as a church? How do we go about our differences? I propose not an answer, but a way. We will find that the gospel of Jesus Christ shows us this way. A way to discern and process this together. The way of truth, wisdom, and love. The Jesus Way.

If there ever was a time to walk this way it is now. Because this is the way we show the world the way out.

The way of truth, wisdom, and love

No way!

Some say the vaccine saves us, others are not so sure. Some say following the covid safety rules shows good citizenship, others don’t seem to mind. Some say God is sovereign so there is no risk in gathering, others say God is sovereign and he instituted the authorities. Some say it is just a pandemic, others say there is more going on that we can see. Some say the rules do more harm than good, others say these protect us. Some say the vaccine uses new technology and are nervous about that, others don’t seem to mind. Some say enough is enough, others prefer to wait a bit longer just to be sure.

I am sure we all agree that there is no one clear answer to all of the questions the pandemic has raised. I am sure you have heard so and so say this, and another article saying that. There is a website on this and a post on that. A myriad of voices and opinions, of which many claim to present the one answer sometimes substantiated with Bible verses. What are we to make of this as Christians? Clearly, Romans 13 plays into this, but how to balance that with for example Ephesians 5:19, which was hardly possible this year? How to balance courage and caution?

In this article, I will not present an answer. Wiser and more qualified people have attempted to answer some questions already (for example John Piper in Coronavirus and Christ). I will recommend a way; a way to discern and process this together. A way which I believe is biblical. The way of truth, wisdom, and love. The Jesus Way.


In a time when many distrust everything, it makes all the difference for us believers to know that there is truth that is TRUE: the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the truth that saves us and sets us free. But you will find that Jesus and the New Testament writers were crystal clear about the fact that there would always be false teachers and prophets around, out to deceive believers and obscure the truth of the gospel (e.g. Matthew 24; Mark 13; 2 Corinthians 11; Galatians 3; Philippians 3; Colossians 2; 1 Timothy 1 and 4; 2 Timothy 3; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 4; 2 John; 3 John; Jude; Revelation 13 and 19).

Classic examples of false teaching, which are still around today, are the attempts to obscure grace by preaching either legalism or licentiousness. And the undermining of the Person of Christ, by doubting either his humanity or his divinity, which lead to false explanations of God who is Trinity. Even today there are ‘Christian’ leaders who say that God does not judge because he is love, thereby inadvertently saying that Jesus did not have to die on the cross. And other ‘pastors’ who say that Jesus was only a wise teacher who served us with inspiration, not salvation, so don’t worry too much about holiness.

Then there have been many who have claimed to be prophets and led people astray with disastrous results. Often this has been around claiming to know when Jesus would return (1). Jesus and the apostles talked straight about truth; which includes both doctrine (truth defined) and ethics (truth lived out). They confronted what was false head-on. And they used strong language to make the point (read for example Jude). They took a stand for truth. But when there were matters that were not essential to the truth of the gospel, like eating particular foods, drinking wine, or on which day the church should gather, they said not to pass judgment on one another. Even not to put a stumbling block in the way of a fellow believer, as you wouldn’t want someone to sin against his or her conscience (Romans 14).

How do we know whether a matter is essential to the truth of the gospel or not? How do we know what is right and wrong about current issues? When do we judge and when don’t we judge? We will need to work this out together with humility towards God and one another (Philippians 2:12), humility towards church history, humility towards the wider church and humility towards the leadership of our local church and the church family whose job it is to teach sound doctrine, which provides clarity and safety (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5). And we will need wisdom.


But what is wisdom? J.I. Packer, in his book Knowing God, helpfully points out that wisdom is not an ability to see why God has done what he has done in a particular case, and what he is going to do next. That kind of thinking burns you out trying to figure out which sign says what, where you should go, whether you took the right turn in life. Yes, God can give unusual direction to our lives, for example through prophecy or a sense of calling. But that is different from trying to read a message about God’s secret purposes in every unusual thing that happens to us.

J.I. Packer continues to describe what wisdom is, drawing from Ecclesiastes: “The real basis of wisdom is a frank acknowledgment that this world’s course is enigmatic, that much of what happens is quite inexplicable to us, and that most occurrences ‘under the sun’ bear no outward sign of a rational, moral God ordering them at all… The truth is that God in his wisdom, to make and keep us humble and to teach us to walk by faith, has hidden from us almost everything that we should like to know about the providential purposes which he is working out in the churches and in our own lives.”

So what is wisdom? From Ecclesiastes: “Fear God and keep his commandments (12:13); guard your steps, draw near to listen, be not rash with your mouth, let your words be few, let not your mouth lead you into sin (5:1-7); do good (3:12); remember that God will someday judge you, so avoid, even in secret, things of which you will be ashamed when they come to light (11:9, 12:14). Live in the present, and enjoy it thoroughly; present pleasures are God’s good gifts (7:14, 9:7, 11:9). Seek grace to work hard at whatever life calls you to do and enjoy

your work as you do it (2:24, 3:12, 5:18, 8:15, 9:10). Leave to God its issues; let him measure its ultimate worth; your part is to use all the good sense and enterprise at your command in exploiting the opportunities that lie before you (11:1-6).”

God who made this enigmatic and complex world, who orchestrated the exodus and the cross, knows what he is doing and does it all well, even if for the moment he hides his hand. We can trust him. We can rejoice in him. We can thank him. Even when we cannot discern his path. Even when we live with questions.

To be wise is to confess the wisdom of God and to show determination to hold onto him no matter what. This kind of wisdom helps us not to be weighed down by the unknown or paralysed by fear or give up on it altogether (Psalm 112:7; 2 Corinthians 4:7-10). I believe this is what Jesus meant with “stay awake” when he talked about his imminent return (Matthew 24:42). This wisdom helps us to make the most of every day, faith-wise. It is realistic yet filled with hope. It is about resting in God’s sovereignty yet stewarding our talents diligently. It helps us to seize every opportunity to do good, to pursue holiness, to always be of good courage, to shine God’s light wherever we are, and to hold onto truth with our eyes open.

We are to look carefully at how we walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). So lots of wisdom is required. And the great thing is that when we realise our lack of wisdom, we may ask God who promises to give it generously (James 1:5)!


So, we have found that there are essentials and non-essentials of truth and that both require different responses. We unpacked the wonder of wisdom and discovered we desperately need it. But if we had all truth and all wisdom yet not love, we would be nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). Paul’s most quoted words usually end up at a wedding, but are more fitting for our situation:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7)

How do we exchange views with someone who refuses to be vaccinated? Or someone who feels unsafe even when restrictions have been lifted? Or someone who says enough is enough? How do we react to a brother or sister who is outspoken or confused or unsure? How do we go about all our concerns and opinions and questions or lack of any of these?

Love is the way, yet not love as a feeling that comes and goes. Not love that seeks to make a point, to push, to be loud and heard. No. This is about divine love. This is sacrificial love. This is the Father’s love shown by Christ’s example, which the Spirit empowers us to know and share (Ephesians 3:14-21). Love that is slow to speak and quick to listen. Love that seeks to live a quiet life yet also loves truth and hates conceit. Love that lays down your life for your brothers and sisters, but also love that casts out fear. Love that compels you to help and give and give and give. Love that makes you vulnerable, because you might get hurt, yet is courageous because it endures all things. Love that pursues unity relentlessly. And love that counts others more significant than yourself (1 Corinthians 13; Philippians 2:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; James 1:19; 1 John).

If there ever was a time to obey the commandment to love like this, it is now. Let’s walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us (Ephesians 5:2).

The Jesus Way

In this time of confusion and conflict, of discomfort and disunity, of suffering and strife, the church has a profoundly different message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. This truth directs us to the right way, God’s wisdom teaches us how to walk that way, and divine love helps us to walk together with God and with one another. This is how we show the world the way out: it is the Jesus Way (Acts 9:2, 24:14 and 22).

How do we do this? Let’s start with prayer. Below you can find a wisdom Psalm and hymn that help us to humbly pray the Jesus Way: “O grant us wisdom from above, to pray for peace and to cling to love”.

Psalm 90

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”

For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning:

in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed.

You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;

yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.

Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.

Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.

Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!


The perfect wisdom of our God Revealed in all the universe:
All things created by His hand
And held together at His command. He knows the mysteries of the seas, The secrets of the stars are His;

He guides the planets on their way
And turns the earth through another day.

The matchless wisdom of His ways That mark the path of righteousness; His word a lamp unto my feet,
His Spirit teaching and guiding me. And O the mystery of the cross,

That God should suffer for the lost,
So that the fool might shame the wise, And all the glory might go to Christ!

O grant me wisdom from above,
To pray for peace and cling to love, And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty. Each strand of sorrow has a place Within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say: “Your perfect will in Your perfect way.”


(1) A theme that often returns when the world is in crisis, for example: We’ve Been Here Before: Lessons from the Church’s Responses to the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919

Thanks to:

J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 1973
John Piper, Coronavirus and Christ, DesiringGod, 2020
Stuart Townend & Keith Getty, The perfect wisdom of our God, 2011

Two stories for Redeemer’s next season

1. Hot air balloon

If church can be likened to a hot air balloon, then currently the balloon is flat on the ground. Yes, we are grateful we had online meetings, life groups still connecting, and prayer flourishing in zoom calls. But the gathering of believers and our public witness was seriously impaired by the pandemic. We are about to gather again! We are about to see church restored and revived again. That’s where the picture of a hot air balloon fits in well. To see the balloon raised and filled with fiery air, to rediscover the joy and awe of flying again. Visible, attractive, and moving where the wind takes us. With fresh faith to see, in due time, new balloons rising.

Here are two things that help us to prepare for the balloon to fly:


Psalm 85 provides us with language to pray for restoration and reviving. We remember God’s favour from before the pandemic (verse 1). We keep remembering how God forgave us through Jesus’s sacrifice (verses 2-3). We express our hearts, that we do not understand in difficult times and that it sometimes feels like God has turned away his face (verses 4-5). Yet we hold fast to how God has revealed himself, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (verses 10-11). And we expect restoration, reviving, and salvation from him. That he will show us his steadfast love again and that many may rejoice in him again (verses 4, 6-7).

We join the psalmist in his longing that God will speak peace, healing and wholeness again to his people. And that we know that God is with us again (verses 8-9). Yes, goodness and fruitfulness come from God, truth sprouting from the ground and right living pouring down from the skies (verses 10-13). God brings it all. That’s the blessing we long for! Restored, revived, rejoicing, together walking on his path. Lord, revive us again!

Consider your ways

The Jews had returned from exile, built Jerusalem’s wall and laid the foundation for the temple. Yet by Haggai’s time they still had not completed building the temple. As years went by the temple remained in ruins. Rebuilding one’s own life was the priority and it was hard work, it took all their energy and focus. Then came Haggai, who was a restorationist prophet, bringing God’s voice and heart into the situation.

“Consider your ways,” God said (Haggai 1). Look up! The problem of your toil isn’t down here, but up there. With me being ‘homeless’ amongst your temporary rebuilt homes. The actual story is that I am not around and not in the picture, not at the heart of my people. Do you remember my covenant? Who would look after you?

The Jews heard God and obeyed. And God confirmed powerfully: I am with you! And God worked like ‘energon’ (Philippians 2:13) in them, both in the leaders and everyone. The Spirit of God moved in the people and the people took action. Their spirit was awakened, a desire so intense that work on the temple began immediately.

Lockdown might have stirred your desire to join the gathering of the church, but with the habit of gathering on Sundays gone, it might have resulted in different priorities. For example: rebuilding your own life. Haggai reminds us that believers are only whole when God is put first in life. Haggai says that rebuilding life starts with restoring the temple.

Why this emphasis on rebuilding the temple? In Haggai’s days, the Old Covenant still counted, and the temple and its rituals were central to the right way of engaging with God. Otherwise sins remained unatoned, guilt would pile up, and distance grew. God had hoped that exile had stirred a hunger to come back to him, to rebuild the temple once back in Jerusalem. But for years the people were occupied elsewhere and forgot about God… again.

We might think, well, that’s Old Covenant talk. Then we remember Jesus saying: “Do not be anxious about what you shall eat, drink or wear, but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33).

In the New Covenant, God explains that we can only come to him through Jesus. If we forget about Jesus and his cross and start engaging with God on our own terms, we join the people from old. Too busy with life, too much ruin around us, too weighed down with circumstances, too occupied with ourselves. But God is a jealous God and he wants the very best for us, and that is himself. Come back to the temple, to Jesus, and his body, the church, and remember that you are his temple, too, where his Spirit dwells!

“Be strong, work, for I am with you, my Spirit remains in your midst, fear not,” God said (Haggai 2:4-6). Upon entering the promised land, God said to Joshua to be strong and courageous, because God would go with him. Like in Acts, God being present with his people caused them to be courageous when facing opposition and difficulties.

So it is for us, when many things don’t yet work, feel uncomfortable, don’t look like they used to, even when glory seems far away, God is near and faithfully with us. God’s Spirit still brings unity, still helps us to love one another, still awakens us to keep looking up and remember God’s mission – a radiant church displaying God’s Life and Love through Jesus and his body in the power of the Spirit. Haggai reminds us to consider our ways and set out to get the balloon flying again.

2. Table

At the heart of the Christian faith is a table where bread and wine are served. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are proclaimed, his salvation is taken in, the bread sustains our souls on the road to God and the wine gladdens our hearts as a foretaste of eternal life. The simplicity of this meal reminds us of the lavish banquet that awaits us when Jesus returns for his Bride. Around the table we sing of God’s faithfulness and tell stories of God’s goodness, we share life and shed tears, we celebrate and lament, and pray for power, and we invite many to join following God’s own example.

In Isaiah 55:1-6 we find God’s compassionate invitation to the table:

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.”

“Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.”

“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near.”

And this reminds us of Jesus who said: if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink, whoever believes in me, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38). And whoever feeds on this bread will live forever (John 6:58). And that the invitation is to be made on the main roads, to invite as many as we can find (Matthew 22:9).

This is on our mind when we start to gather again. The refreshment of our souls with good food. The sharing of testimonies, the catching up, the singing. We are thirsty and hungry and many around us, too. We can’t wait to gather around the table again!

We love the simplicity yet richness of Christian community captured in this table picture. It will be like a slightly chaotic oversized family reunion where everyone pitches in to make it happen. Not like going to the movies where you criticise the cast and leave your popcorn on the floor and run for home.

Come, taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8). Come to the feast, there is room at the table! Come hungry, come thirsty, come ready to help out!

Every Sunday?

After 18 months without church on Sunday mornings, why would we want to revive the habit of weekly church attendance? What’s the point of gathering anyway? Why not join every now and then? Or why not prioritise Bible study and prayer with a few friends?

Four Bible pictures help us to rediscover what church is about: the people of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the body of Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God. These show us that we are the church. And that we gather to God, to one another and for the world.

These pictures show us that the church is filled with mind-blowing, soul-reviving and heart-captivating vision. In a time like this, the church stands as a living message of divine hope. I want to be a part of that. You, too?

What is church again?

Out of sight, out of mind. An apt saying for a year and half without church gatherings. The habit of attending church on Sunday mornings is no more. And now that we hope to gather again after summer, it is time to consider our hearts. What do we find there when we think about church? Is it anticipation? Or hesitation? Or even doubt? Some can’t wait to join in with the crowd again, others look ahead with reservations for safety or simply because we aren’t used to large groups of people any more, or because we quite like sleeping in on a Sunday morning.

What or who do we look to in order to prepare well? What does God say? What is church again? Why do we gather all together?

Here are four pictures from the Bible, a psalm, and a hymn to help you refresh your memory and prepare your heart for (re)gathering.

1. God’s people

We gather

“Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10)

God has always been gathering and saving a people, not just a few individuals. In Genesis, he promised Abraham to turn his descendants into a great people. In Exodus, we find them as slaves, but God brings rescue and forms them indeed into his people, marked by the Passover and the Presence of God on their way to the Promised land. The rest of the Old Testament tells the story of this nation set apart for God’s glory. And that God regularly brought them together to meet; to assemble. For example at Mount Sinai to hear God’s law (Exodus 19), at the annual festivals (Deuteronomy 16) or at Jerusalem for David’s final speech (1 Chronicles 28).

This idea is captured in the Greek translation of the Old Testament word for “assembly”, ekklesia, which is used to refer to the local church in the New Testament. It is simply the term for a gathering, but in light of the Old Testament it carries the meaning of standing together as God’s people.

Jesus had this in mind when he said – “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18) and told his followers to “gather in my name” (Matthew 18:20). Paul affirmed this when he said: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). And Peter explained the gospel by saying that God’s mercy brought us into the people of God (1 Peter 2:9-10; see also Ephesians 2:11-22).

This means that now we are God’s people, who are saved by his grace, empowered by his Spirit and fed by his word, who walk by faith and stand together on his promises, who enjoy and share God’s love, who gather as church of Christ. Believers go to church because we are the church. A local church is an assembly of God’s people. Without meeting, there is no church. Of course we gather, that is what makes church church!

2. Temple of the Holy Spirit

We gather to God

“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22)

God is omnipresent. He is present everywhere. But he also chooses sometimes to localise his presence, as he did surprisingly for Moses in a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). But now, we get to be the place where God dwells by the person of the Holy Spirit. Because we are ‘in Jesus’, the church is now God’s dwelling place on earth, the new temple. This means that when we gather in his name, we can expect that he will be with us.

God is with us from the beginning of our gathering. In fact, it all begins with God. God gathers us to himself first and foremost. Matt Merker puts it like this: “God the Father grants us to honour him in and through our mediator, God the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” What brings us into the presence of God is the death and resurrection of Jesus alone. So “God serves us before we serve him, he ministers to us, he blesses us, he reveals himself to us, he pours out grace upon undeserved grace. Then, we serve him with the strength that he alone provides.”

The gathering not only begins with God, but it is also for God as he gathers us to bring glory to him. We get to praise him with gravity (reverence), gladness (rejoicing), and gratitude (recognition). And we get to enjoy communion with him, which also brings him glory. We encounter God through Jesus by the Spirit, who is with us in our fellowship, when we sing, during the sharing of bread and wine, and when the gospel is preached.

But we also encounter God through one another as we are filled with the Spirit. In God’s temple, we all play a priestly role (1 Peter 2:9). We offer two types of sacrifice: praise to God and good works to bless God’s people (Hebrews 13:15-16). And that brings us to our next picture.

3. Body of Jesus Christ

We gather to God and to one another

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

God surprised the cosmos with the incarnation of his Son. God became man in order to save mankind. The surprise continued when we found out that we are saved through union with Jesus. By faith we become one with Christ, one with his death and his resurrection, one with his body. We do not belong to ourselves, but are members of Christ’s body, and get to live this out (Colossians 3:1-4).

This means that we do not gather as individuals seeking to worship God by ourselves, but as a body to encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The aim is to see the body grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head. And this happens when all believers play a part in this ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). All are gifted, every member of the body is needed (1 Corinthians 12). Some gifts serve from the platform, but most flourish in the pew.

When you welcome one another you show God’s kindness. When you sing you serve your brothers and sisters around you to look up and remember God’s faithfulness. When you pray you stir your fellow believers to have faith for God’s power to save. When you prophesy you bring God’s heart into the everyday of the saints. When you testify from the Bible you speak hope into the body. When you gather ready to build up you show that you have put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:11-17).

When we will safely (re)gather together, we will all have covid-year-stories to tell, and likely different opinions. Let’s hear Paul, when he said: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, vaccinated and unvaccinated, insane and sane; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11, adapted)

God’s desire for Christ’s body is that it may reflect his heart, so the world may recognise the Son in us. So, empowered by the Spirit who brings this to fruition, let’s seek unity and:
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” (Colossians 3:12-13; also see Romans 14:13-23)

4. Embassy of God’s kingdom

We gather to God, to one another and for the world

“We are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

God’s people we are, but we are also exiles as we aren’t home yet (1 Peter 1:1). Being an international church we have many nationalities represented, but actually we are exiles who belong to the same heavenly country. When God promised Abraham many descendants, he also promised to bless them in order that they might bless the world. It has always been God’s plan that his people show his kingdom amid the nations of the earth.

The world is complex and confusing, full of frustration and futility. The pandemic shook many nations. But we are grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28), we abound in hope (Romans 15:13), we know our King will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). The church is an embassy of this kingdom. It means that the church serves to show what God’s kingdom looks like, it is a preview of the coming new creation, it is a living message of divine hope. We represent God’s heavenly kingdom. We are Christ’s ambassadors.

This means that when we gather, we gather as ambassadors and not as consumers. We come to honour the King and make him known; Jesus gets centre stage, not us. And this also explains why we value and submit to the Bible when we come together, as ambassadors faithfully apply the policies set by the King.

Church is like a festive gathering of exiles in a foreign land, which means that church is countercultural, we teach our constitution (sermon), we eat and drink kingdom food (communion), we sing our national anthem (hymns and songs), and we celebrate heaven’s culture of faith, hope, and love (fellowship), yet we welcome everyone to come and join, as we believe it will do them good.

This is how the church serves to show Jesus to unbelievers, to be the light of the world.

Let’s (re)gather!

After a year and a half of lockdown, will the church be able to stand again? Will it be revived and flourish? Well, our God is in the business of resurrection and he is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and he has always shown himself to be faithful to the church.

Why? Because the church is the gathering of his people, the temple of his Spirit, the body of his Son, and an embassy of his kingdom. But also the bride of Christ awaiting the return of the Bridegroom. And the flock of the Good Shepherd; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. What a mind-blowing, soul-reviving and heart-captivating vision!

Let’s (re)gather to God, to one another and for the world!

Psalm 100

A (re)gathering Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Hymn of the Church

O Church of Christ, invincible, The people of the Lord, Empowered by the Spirit’s breath And nourished by his word.

His covenant of grace will be
Our portion evermore,
For He who called us will not change, Our help and our reward.

O chosen people called by grace,
The sons of Abraham,
Who walk by faith and things unseen, And on His promise stand,

That every nation of the earth Will hear about this love
That causes broken hearts to heal And pays our debts with blood.

O Church of Christ in sorrow now, Where evil lies in wait;
When trials and persecutions come This light will never fade.

For though the hordes of hell may rage, Their power will not endure;
Our times are in the Father’s hand, Our anchor is secure.

O Church of Christ, upon that day When all are gathered in,
When every tear is wiped away With every trace of sin;

Where justice, truth and beauty shine, And death is passed away,
Where God and man will dwell as one For all eternity.


Thanks to:

Vaughan Roberts, True Worship, 2002
Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters, Sovereign Grace Ministries, 2008 Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership, 9Marks, 2012
Matt Merker, Corporate Worship, 9Marks, 2021
Matt Boswell & Stuart Townend, Hymn of the Church, 2014