When I made the decision to leave Birmingham, I was a bit apprehensive at the prospect of joining a church in London in the new era of social distancing, Zoom, and face coverings.
However, on the first weekend I arrived in London I attended one of The Globe Church’s live services. Despite face masks and social distancing, it was immediately obvious to me that the Globe Church family were a united people, committed to loving Christ and loving the City of London.
After attending Globe for a month, I received an email invitation to the yearly ‘Globe Getaway’. Originally, the day was to be held in person; instead we would now share the day together over Zoom, in groups of six. Still, the email invitation promised to deliver all the essentials of a good getaway: great Bible teaching, fellowship, food and lots of fun!
Come Saturday 10th October at 10 am, my housemate Keren and I were welcomed out of the autumn drizzle into a cosy flat and presented with mugs of tea and slices of warm, vegan chocolate-orange loaf. On the TV in the corner were the faces of Globe Church family scattered across London homes in cheerful groups of six.
The day’s activities were designed to be a good mix of virtual and physical activities. Each group was sent one of these exciting mystery boxes:
Out of this box came a number of mystery parcels which included everything necessary to engage in a fierce team competition. It included games such as building the longest piece of spaghetti and playing tin-foil-Bible-story-charades. It is still debated who won the competition but it is certain that it was great bonding time! Sandwiched between such excitement, Adrian Reynolds spoke to us from Colossians 2. I have since had time to reflect a bit on that teaching.
"Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and strengthened in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness." (Colossians 2:7)
Our starting point was that, just as we received Christ when we became Christians (v.7), so we must carry on in that same way. So, practically, what does this look like? Adrian broke down verse 7 into three helpful sections.
Firstly, we have to be rooted in Christ. In the same way that plant cuttings will wilt away and die if it has no soil to root itself in, Paul tells us that we can only keep going as Christians if we ensure we deeply root ourselves in Christ.
Secondly, we need to be built up in Christ. Adrian highlighted how no-one can say, ‘I’m done’ because, as individuals as well as a church body, we constantly need to be built up. As someone who is still relatively new to Globe, it has been a helpful challenge to consider what part I can play to help ‘build’ the church.
Thirdly, we were called to be strengthened in faith. I know that sometimes I’m guilty of treating salvation as something I can achieve myself, in my own strength. However, Paul urges the Colossians to rejoice with one another about core gospel truths. Christ has done all that is necessary for us to be reconciled to God!
And then lastly, Adrian encouraged us to overflow in thankfulness. This thankfulness is the natural result of being rooted, built up and strengthened in Christ – walk in Him, and thankfulness will overflow. How encouraging!
With new Tier 2 restrictions in place, we must learn to love one another more creatively, intentionally and persistently. Globe Getaway was a lovely example of how creative thinking can help us to love each other well in these times. And above all, we must walk in Him together, regardless of our physical proximity to one another.