Separated from the Public a Means of Grace?

Fredy Peter, Switzerland

Many gatherings, including our Easter conference, had to be canceled. The day of the first canceled church service, we received special encouragement.

Because of the coronavirus, on March 15th we were unable to celebrate our public worship service for the first time. Of course, in addition to our church, Zion’s Hall, this also applied to many other churches and assemblies. Probably all of us were perturbed, at a loss, shocked. No church service? What’s coming next? What could this lead to?

On this historic March 15th, Charles H. Spurgeon’s devotional book The Promises of God had some particularly comforting words regarding the following verse: “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in
the countries where they have gone’” (Ezek 11:16).

Spurgeon writes: “Banished from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace behind the means of grace. The Lord, who places his people where they feel like exiles, will himself be with them. He will be to them all that they could have had at home in the place of their sacred assemblies. Take this promise as your own if you are called to wander!

“God is to his people a place of refuge. They find sanctuary with him from every adversary. He is their place of worship too. He is with them as he was with Jacob when he slept in the open field and woke, saying, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place’ (Gen 28:16). To them he will also be a sanctuary of peace, like the Most Holy Place, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal. They will be kept from fear of evil.

“God himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. The ark of the covenant is the Lord Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law are in Christ our sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need?

“Oh, Lord, fulfill this promise and always be to us like a little sanctuary!”

Midnight Call - 07/2020

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