Pastor’s Update 7 – COVID-19

Vol 1. No. 7. April 25, 2020

In this edition:

Pastor S Matthias Esson

Pastor of Greenwich and Sydenham SDA Churches
One Church in Two Locations

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Daniel 5:25 New International Version (KJV) “And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.”

Covid-19: Mnemonics on the Wall

While we were in the Act

In Daniel 5:25 we find the words, “Mene, Mene Tekel Upharsin.” These words constituted a coded message – a message in mnemonics, if you please, to King Belshazzar. It was written by a mysterious finger on the walls of Belshazzar’s’ palace. Daniel explained its meaning.

  • Mene – God has numbered your kingdom and finished it
  • Tekel – you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting
  • Peres – Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians

In the margin of my bible I find the following definitions.

  • Meme – literally a mina [950 shekels] from the verb ‘to number’
  • Tekel – literally a shekel from the verb ‘to weigh’
  • Upharsin – a half of shekel from the verb “to divide.”

How helpful are all these definitions in understanding the power of mnemonics? You [scholars or non-scholars alike] can or may decide. But from whatever angle you look, the message was clarion. Belshazzar did not have much time left. It didn’t take long for Belshazzar to lose his life and throne to the Medes and the Persian. The bible said, “That very night Belshazzar king of the Chaldeans, was slain. And Darius the Mede received the Kingdom, being about sixty-two years old” [Dan 5:30-31].

This piece is not intended to focus on the problem of the identity of Darius; but on the manner in which the message was communicated to Belshazzar. God used mnemonics to communicate His word to the King.

Some eye-catching mnemonic during Covid-19 season

I have learned that mnemonics are powerful learning devices for the purpose of information gathering, retention and or retrieval. During the covid-19 season, I have seen a number of interesting encoded messages – message embedded in mnemonics. Some helpful, some not so helpful. Some are humorous. Some pathetic, and some might even be or have the potential to be scandalous. You have to decide for yourself which is, and which is not. Here are a few that caught my attention.

  1. Make sure you test positive for faith
    Keep your distance from doubt
    And isolate from fear
    Trust God through it all.

Another version…

  1. 1. Make sure you test positive for faith
    Keep a safe distance from doubt
    And isolate unbelief
    Oh yeah & Wash your hands from wrongdoings.
  2. A mask is better than a ventilator
    Home is better than ICU
    Prevention is better than cure
    It’s not CURFEW, it’s CARE FOR U.
    I have added, or a CURE FOR U.


  2. Churches are not being closed. Buildings are being closed You are the church. You are to remain open [nice one].

  3. Somebody cannot cough in peace again… Somebody will be looking at you coronically.

  4. I never imagine that even the cause of death could be made in China.

  5. People are wiping down everything and washing everything, but make sure y’all clean up that jealousy, hatred, envy and poison mentality too [powerful – what do you think?].

  6. Always remember W.U.H.A.N [who could forget – good advice]

    W – wash hands often
    U – use mask properly
    H – have temperature checked regularly
    A – avoid large crowd
    N – never touch your face with unclean hands

  7. L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N is a time for…

    L- listen to God’s voice and reflect. Let go and let God
    O- obey His words and teaching
    C – call on Jesus name and be calm
    K – know what is the purpose of all of this
    D – dwell in his presence. Do not panic
    O – offer prayers for everyone’s safety
    W – wait and be patient. This too will past
    N – nurture our personal relationship with Him

  8. Faith over fear,
    Peace over panic
    God over everything

Belshazzar, time to ….

How much time did Belshazzar have to reflect on the mnemonics written on the wall? Not much. He died that very night. And did he use his not-much-time wisely? I don’t know and I would not presume to think the worse. The question that comes to mind is, how do I use the time I have left? Notice, it is not how much time I have left, but how do I use the time I have left. You might want to ask yourself the same question.

Lockdown time extended

The government has decided to extend lockdown time another three weeks until May 7, 2020. How will I use this time? How will you use this time? Perhaps the message in the mnemonics, L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N. is a time for …. might provide some useful guide. Read it again. What do you think?

In the meantime, make sure you test positive for faith. Keep your distance from doubt. Isolate fear and unbelief. Wash your hands from wrongdoings and trust God through it all.

Remember: this too, will pass. And don’t forget.

9. Faith over fear,
Peace over panic
God over everything

10. No movies. No concerts. No sporting events. No restaurant. No social Gatherings. Limited workloads. Now that I have cleared your schedule, can we talk now? God.

11. When you die your company can get another employee
But your family can’t get another you.
Stay home.


– Protect the NHS, Save lives –


“Mene – God has numbered your kingdom and finished it

Tekel – you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting

Peres – Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians”

Tithes and Offerings during the Pandemic

Give Your Tithes and Offerings
By Bank Transfer to:

A. Greenwich SDA Church

Bank: HSBC
Sort Code: 40-04-15
Acc. Number: 8203 5529

  • Please state whether tithes or offering in the reference
  • Please make separate transfers for Tithe & Local Offerings

B. Sydenham SDA Church

Bank: HSBC
Sort Code: 40-02-05
Acc. Number: 7119 7789

  • Kindly include your name as reference
  • Please make separate transfers for Tithe & Local Offerings

A Pray for Frontline Workers

A Prayer for Frontline Workers

God of all goodness and healing,
We thank you with all our heart for
those who are working with selfless
skill and dedication, to sustain our NHS.

Grant that they may receive the resources they require to meet the demands that each day bring. Keep them safe and healthy while at work, and bless their families and love ones at home – Amen


Always Remember Wuhan

Emergency Contacts

if you need extra assistance, you can also drop us a line and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Pastor S Matthias Esson

Greenwich Seventh-Day Adventist Church
07985 408 669

Elder Clive Richardson

First Elder
Greenwich Seventh-Day Adventist Church
07903 134 970

Elder Josiah Oyelakin

First Elder
Sydenham Seventh-Day Adventist Church
07828 941 130