Kyabram Free Press

This lack of freedom is wearing thin

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ON THE HORIZON

What is happening to Victoria?

It seems the Victorian Government is doing a backflip in the strategy to combat COVID-19. No longer is COVID-ZERO the goal, now it is Covid-containmen­t. About time, I hear many say, and while you are at it, please lift some restrictio­ns.

I was down the street today needing a letter from an office and I was passed the letter under the door! I hear the police were doing checks to see if people were complying with current restrictio­ns.

Is it true that I cannot visit my neighbour who needs some help? My goodness, what is happening to Kyabram? I understand we have to be careful, but at what cost?

What about churches?

The word ‘church’ came from the Greek word ‘ecclesia’ meaning the ‘assembly’ or ‘ones called out’. Church became commonly known as the gathering of those who followed Jesus or the body of believers.

The very essence of what church is can only be achieved as people gather. Can we do that? No. We can’t even invite someone for a meal.

No wonder the COVID-19 fallout is likely to be far worse than the virus itself. Consider the economic strain on Australia, the loss to business, the emotional/mental health stress on people, the fear tactics used and loss of community connectedn­ess.

This is hitting our communitie­s hard, and yes, even the churches feel the strain.

As a pastor, the one called to shepherd the flock, I feel the weight of extended lockdown. The things that we love to do as a church — such as gatherings in our homes, men’s breakfasts, youth group, playgroup, kids’ programs, hospitalit­y and, of course, having fun together on Sunday — we cannot do.

Our people feel left alone, isolated, disconnect­ed and not able to be the ‘gathered ones’.

The community is together on this — we are fast running out of patience, and we need our freedom back. How long can you expect free people to endure lack of freedom?

I know there are many sides to this whole COVID-19 debate, so rather than getting tangled I encourage us to look to the God.

The Psalmist said, “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”

God understand­s freedom because he is the one who gives it. It is possible to be free spirituall­y yet imprisoned physically. It is possible to live in peace surrounded by unrest. It is possible to have assurance of faith among a world full of fear and it is possible to have life even though you die.

How can this be? Because Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the giver of life that leads to eternal life. We can therefore trust in him. Why not, what have you got to lose?

Pastor David Lloyd

Community Church Kyabram

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