We are living, we are dwelling, In a grand and awful time,
In an age on ages telling– To be living is sublime.
Hark! the waking up of nations, Gog and Magog to the fray;
Hark! what soundeth? Is creation Groaning for her latter day?
Christian, rouse and arm for conflict, Nerve thee for the battlefield;
Bear the helmet of salvation, And the mighty gospel shield;
Let the breastplate, peace, be on thee, Take the Spirit’s sword in hand;
Boldly, fearlessly, go forth then, In Jehovah’s strength to stand.
Christians, rouse! fight in this warfare, Cease not till the victory’s won;
Till your Captain loud proclaimeth, “Servant of the Lord, well done!”
He, alone, who thus is faithful, Who abideth to the end,
Hath the promise, in the kingdom An eternity to spend.
-Authur C. Coxe, Stanzas 1-3, Hymn 617, SDA Hymnal
The above hymn is a favourite of many. It sums up where we are in earth's history and what we can do to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The hymn refers to the Christian as a soldier in battle. It urges us to go and fight in God's strength.
We are currently facing disruption. The COVID-19 crisis has closed places of work, schools and churches. The home has now become church, school and work. This period calls for soldiers of Christ to continue to win souls for God's Kingdom and fight the battle.
To continue spreading the gospel, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica launched JA Adventists Online. The initiative is a collaborative effort of all the conferences in the Jamaica Union.
The East Jamaica Conference kicked things off with spirit-filled services for three weeks and then handed the baton to the Central Jamaica Conference who hosted the service on Sabbath April 11, 2020.
Pastor Barrington McLean, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director from the Central Conference led the Sabbath School portion of worship under the emphasis of "The Church that Jesus Saw."
Pastor Levi Johnson, President for the Central Jamaica Conference, welcomed the online viewers and encouraged them to keep strong in the Lord during this particularly trying time.
From various churches across the conference, children and youth gave summaries of their lesson studies from the week. The bright minds were evidence that a "little child shall lead them" and that God will use His little ones for His glory.
Pastor Barrington McLean and Pastor Romone Phoenix of the Old Harbour District of Churches led the informative and interesting Adult Sabbath School Lesson discussion.
A special feature in the Sabbath School period was "Health That Matters", hosted by Sis. Deon Henry, Health Ministries Director for the Central Jamaica Conference. Along with Dr Michelle Lewin, Clinical Psychologist from the H.S. Walters Health Centre, Sis. Henry discussed mental health and what to do about stress. Dr Lewin gave tips to combat the effects of stress such as exercise, a proper diet and faith in God.
As part of a wholesome worship experience for the family, our children are to never be exempted. Josiah Harris showed his peers the importance of helping out at home in the Children's Corner segment. He explained how he had to step up to the plate in household duties when his mother had a foot injury. He encouraged his peers to do the same and help their parents whenever they can as it builds character and makes Jesus happy.
Family Life Ministries Director for the Central Jamaica Conference, Dr Roy Dennis allowed the virtual church to meditate on the life of Abraham as he delivered the word that God had laid on his heart for the brethren. On the topic of "Walking by Faith", Dennis examined the various types of fear that we grapple with as humans. "Fear is like an octopus gripping your neck and taking every desire in you to be successful. It cripples you and gives you a sense of hopelessness", explained Dennis. He then implored the virtual church that "Whenever we are crippled by fear, we must know that there is a God bigger than our crisis". Dr Dennis encouraged the church to "look up, for our redemption draweth nigh".
Osanna Ministries, Humble, and Carey Sales among other music ministers presented the Word of God through music.
*Tune in to JA Adventists Online 9:15 every Sabbath morning on NCU FM (91.1, 91.3, and 91.5), NCU TV (channels 188 and 617) Bless TV, and on the conference's social media pages.