For the last seven weeks, we’ve published “Good News Saturday.” When this series started, the reality of COVID-19 was just setting in. Bad news was the norm. Our social media feeds and television screens were filled with panic and despondency. They still are.
Until Jesus returns, the news cycle will be a scary place. And yet, we are a people of good news—the Good News. In the face of bad news, we have a firm hope. This is not fake news, it’s worthy of your confidence. There is a God who made this world, in love. He became flesh in Christ. In his death and resurrection, he put death to death and signalled the beginning of a new age. We enjoy the unshakable goodness of that new age, restored relationship with our Creator. And yet, there’s more good news to come. One day, our victorious God has promised, he will make all things new. It won’t always be like this. God is faithful—in the now and the ‘not yet’.
This is not fake news, it’s worthy of your confidence
That is the Good News story we live in. It changes everything. How we have seen this Good News ripple through the Australian Church in the last seven weeks! This is the last edition of Good News Saturday. As we turn the page, we want to take a moment to recap. Let’s revisit some of the ways we’ve seen God at work through and for his people during COVID-19.
God never stops working for his glory, growing Christ’s Kingdom day by day. COVID-19 did not put a stop to this.
- During COVID-19, Campus Bible Study at UNSW has used Zoom to build exisiting relationships with students. A few weeks ago, during a Zoom call, an international student put their faith in Jesus for the first time!
- Two young people from Chatswood Presbyterian Church gave their lives to the Lord. A Christian couple from China also Zoomed into a church service at Chatswood Presbyterian and made a meaningful connection with a non-Christian couple on that same Zoom call. Many of their questions were answered.
- Just as COVID-19 was beginning, Aura Church in Queensland baptised two new believers.
- A church family in Bannockburn has been sharing the Gospel with a small group of local mums. COVID-19 meant these meetings happened online—and more women could join!
COVID-19 posed massive challenges to many church families. How would we stay connected? How would we reach others? How would we cope? The Church is Christ’s Bride (Revelation 19:7) and he will care for us. That’s exactly what we’ve seen in recent months.
- The teenagers at Croydon Hills and Wonga Park Anglican Church have provided the technical assistance this church family needed in order to host church online.
- La Trobe University Christian Union has noticed God’s kindness in their growing commitment to and love of one another. God’s Spirit has provided the perseverance and affection needed during this challenging period.
- City on a Hill has experienced God’s generosity too. This group of six churches is equipped to serve thousands of people. The resources and abilities within City on a Hill, all provided by God, have been well used during COVID-19.
- God has provided good work for his people to do. Colin Buchanan has been bringing encouragement and joy to Aussie families during isolation, performing online. Christian sexologist and author Patricia Weerakoon has been developing new resources for churches and youth groups.
- Rouse Hill Bible Church has been able to gather online thanks to the hard work of generous church members. Together, they’ve overcome technical challenges and continued to enjoy fellowship and teaching.
- FOCUS, a ministry to Australian Defence Force personnel, has enjoyed new opportunities during COVID. God has opened new doors for sharing the Gospel.
As we walk with our God, he makes us more like Jesus. We often see this most clearly in times of difficulty. COVID-19 has certainly presented opportunities to grow in Christlikeness.
- St John’s Presbyterian Church in Hobart has been confronted with difficult questions. Does the way we gather reflect what we believe? How can we be more welcoming? How can we grow in love for one another? COVID-19 has made these questions prevalent, and we can be sure that God will use this to make the body of St John’s more like Jesus.
- For another church, in Darebin, COVID-19 presented an opportunity to dig deep into community and find new ways to encourage each other. Social media has been a wonderful tool for this church.
- We’ve heard that people are praying more. We’ve heard that people are reading God’s Word more. We’ve heard that people are finding creative ways to remind themselves of the Gospel. We’ve heard about new ways to connect with neighbours. We’ve heard from families who are spending more time together—and noticing the joys and challenges of this. We’ve heard from young people who are growing in their faith and elderly people who have learnt to use Zoom for the sake of their church.
COVID-19 has not removed Christ’s crown. For God’s people, COVID-19 has not been wasted time. God is in control, and his purposes are good. By God’s grace, we will walk out of COVID-19 looking a little more like him.