Here we are in August, and the lockdown has not lifted enough for us to use our usual hall for Church Services, so we continue to offer a virtual worship service here, and hope that it will help you to feel connected not only to God but to others who are worshipping using this facility as well. Isn’t technology wonderful! I know it can sometimes be a curse when used for evil, but when used for good it is a great blessing. Enjoy!

It is now required to wear a mask or face covering in shops, post offices and other enclosed public spaces, as well as on public transport. You see a great variety of face coverings from scarves and surgical type masks, to grotesque gas masks and clown faces.
Have you worn a mask yet? How do you feel about masks? I hate them. They are quite claustrophobic to some people, so you see some with breathing valves in them, or maybe a Perspex shield type face covering. And what about the hard of hearing who rely partially on lip reading, or the deaf who depend on seeing a persons face and expression as well as reading lips. In fact, most of us are affected by body language and facial expression, so face coverings can have an unconscious psychological impact on us. It can affect our reactions and relationships. 

Fortunately, God can see our faces as well as our hearts; and we can see him with the eyes of our hearts and spiritually face to face, as we sing in our first hymn, LORD I COME TO YOU
HYMN NO. 1 – LORD I COME TO YOU
youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga6Qtxzd6vk

We sang, Lord I come to you, unveil my eyes, let me see you face to face. Let my heart be changed, renewed by the power of your love. Our faces show our love and so I hope that this regulation will be able to end soon. In the meantime we keep social-distancing and bear the wear—in fact, there are advantages to the masks as it seems some of us need to social-distance from our refrigerators!

We all have another kind of mask as well—those we hide behind. The expression ‘put your best foot forward’ and ‘making a good impression’ are ways of saying that we present a version of ourselves to others that is not always the real you, like actors on the stage of life. 
Speaking of Life this week talks of putting on a false face in The Photoshop Gospel presented by Dr. Joseph Tkach
SPEAKING OF LIFE
Video link: https://www.gci.org/media/videos/the-photoshop-gospel/

Jesus was the face of God—he said if you have seen me you have seen the Father—in him we meet God face-to-face
David and I are pleased that we can now meet our grandchildren face to face although technically are not yet allowed to hug and kiss them. We have to use the method of the little girl who gave her father a beautifully wrapped gift which, when he opened it, appeared to be empty. ‘No Daddy,’ she said, ‘It’s not empty, I blew it full of kisses for you!’

Our next hymn sings, ‘My sin hide from Thy view’ – it is not our face that is hidden from God, but our sin—hidden by the blood of Jesus.
HYMN NO. 2 – IN THY LOVING KINDNESS, LORD – WCG –WCG 68
youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx9_lp2cI2Q

We sang, ‘Be merciful to me, in compassion great blot out all iniquity and from all guilt cleanse Thou me.’
Although human life is often a mascarade, God’s face is always towards us. Even though we try to hide from him at times, God never hides his face from us. The temple veil was torn at the death of Jesus, giving ALL direct access to the throne of God. He can see through our mascarade and our sins no longer separate us from his loving arms. Our next hymn says ‘All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near and shelter under his wings as with his loving hand he guides and protects us:
HYMN NO. 3 – PRAISE YE THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY – WCG 161
youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxZKjro8hS4

All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near. So we come to the time when we draw near and hear God’s Word brought through modern technology in the live-streaming Sermon:
SERMON LINKS:

SATURDAY 1 AUGUST 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbRCUiVhqno

SUNDAY 2 AUGUST 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HRgTOrU0Wo

Yes, God knows our every thought. He is omniscient—all-knowing—the Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
HYMN NO. 4 – IMMORTAL, INVISIBLE, GOD ONLY WISE – WCG 264
youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NacT-XxQcp0

We sang Great Father of glory, hid from our eyes, ‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth Thee.
Yet God is revealed in Jesus Christ,
In us to the world through Christ in us

In Creation, from the tiny wings of butterflies, the roar of a mighty waterfall,

the splendour of snow-crested mountains, the beauty of sunsets

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