Ningbo Holy Church: "Yahweh Has Done Great Things for Us"

People were worshiping in the church
People were worshiping in the church (photo:
By Ai Mo June 9th, 2020

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the church in China has been closed until last Saturday for more than four months, namely 19 Sundays. Recently, some regions have issued notices that religious places can be opened in an orderly manner based on effective anti-pandemic work.

Ningbo Holy Church was reopened on June 2 and held its first Sunday service on June 7.

Faced with challenges in life or difficulties that people could not accept, they might ask some questions: Does God still care for me? Is He with me? Does He still exist? This pandemic has had a great impact on work, school, and family. Then how do Christians view what they have experienced in the current environment?

Pastor Liu shared from Psalm 126 that Israel returned to the promised land by the grace of God after being in captivity. "Our experience was different from Children of Israel, but we see God’s grace through it, and His sovereignty in the universe." The pastor shared the following three points:

1. Return after Captivity

Israeli rebelled against God and worshipped idols, so they were taken captive and then brought back to their hometown through the permission and grace of God. This was God's mercy; it had nothing to do with their strength. We are grateful that the pandemic in China has been effectively controlled, but the more important thing is to know God’s hand oversaw all this.

" When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” After experiencing so much grief, they returned again to their homeland. How unimaginable. Did we think we were dreaming on the first Sunday that we were together? Or can we understand a little bit of the feeling of Israel when they returned?

"Then it was said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them.” The door of the church opened today. Did our hearts also open? Peter denied Jesus three times. But God sought Peter and strengthened his faith. Similarly, God also has done great things for us today. Not only did the church open the door, but God has done great things in each of our lives.

2. Reap the Seed that was Sown

For the Hebrew people who were taken into captivity, many thought they would never be able to return. We also thought that there was no solution to the pandemic and the church would not be able to resume worship. But Israel returned, the pandemic is under control, and the church has resumed its normal worship. "It’s grace that has brought us to this place, but it is easy for us to forget. When we are working, we may complain about having too much work to do. God is full of grace, and he has helped us to find His grace in any situation. It is grace that we could both sow and reap."

3. Reap What was Sowed through His Grace

God himself was a peasant who sowed seeds. He allowed Israel to be exiled among the Gentiles with tears and pain, hoping that they would learn their lesson. Have we learned the lessons that God wanted us to learn in the pandemic? "God painfully sowed the see so we would be able to benefit. What benefits did God want us to have? God wanted us to share in His holiness."

" Reap what has been sowed. Our life today was the result of the last few days or years ago." Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. We were put into darkness to learn to obey. Looking back on the pandemic, we have experienced a moment of shadow and darkness. Have we learned our lessons? Can we go out and share His grace after the pandemic?

"During the pandemic, many sisters continued to study the Bible and pray. They asked for God’s blessing to maintain a family altar and the marriage relationship. These were God’s grace. The environment was the same, but because of God we had peace."

In the end, the pastor exhorted us, "May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit when we encounter unprecedented circumstances and sow the seeds of love."

- Translated by Elaina Wu

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