Letter from Yangsun 21st April 2020

21st April 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


How have you spending your time during the Coronavirus lockdown?  Perhaps like me you had not imagined that the time would ever come when we cannot go to our mid-week fellowships and activities as well as Sunday services especially Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We all miss one another so much.

 I have been rereading some of my favourite Bible stories from the Old Testament. I’m especially interested by those who God calls to live and work in other cultures - it’s such a great adventure and challenge, a real privilege, but confusing and terrifying because it can be so easy to make unintentional mistakes!

Today I read the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den.  I’m sure you know it well.  Daniel was in exile - cut off from friends and family - a bit like many of us at the moment, although he did not have the advantage of telephone or internet or zoom, and his exile was for life!  Because he was bright and gifted, he had been taken from his home in Jerusalem to be trained for the service in the government of King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.  Daniel made his home in there and became a very successful administrator to successive kings. 

He missed his homeland.  What kept him going and kept him in touch with the things and the people he treasured most was his devotion to God and his routine of prayer, three times a day, looking towards Jerusalem.  Inevitably for someone who had become as powerful as Daniel, there were those who were jealous of him. His honesty and integrity meant that they could find no fault with him - except his faith.  They tricked King Darius into passing a law against praying to anyone except the king himself.  Daniel, of course would not change, and when his enemies reported him to the king, Darius had no choice by to throw his trusted friend into the lions’ den.  Darius hated doing it, and had a sleepless night anxious for Daniel.

 The Bible tells us of his enormous relief when morning came and Daniel had been kept safe. When Daniel had been put in with the lions, Darius had prayed, ‘May your God, whom you serve continually, keep you safe!’

 In these days when the lockdown means we all experience a sort of exile, not unlike Daniel’s, that simple prayer is one we can all use, for ourselves and each other.

With every blessing.

  Yangsun Yi