Grace & Peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus, Christ. Amen.
Another month has come and gone and our lives continue to be impacted by the coronavirus. This worldwide pandemic has affected us all – emotionally, physically, and socially. It has interfered with our work, play, school, family, and church lives. There is still a lot to be learned about this virus, and coupled with widespread misinformation many are left unsettled.
Faith’s Lead Team continues to meet every two weeks to monitor and discern the latest recommendations by local authorities and the CDC. It’s in love for our community, both Faith Lutheran and globally, that we are being extra cautious before resuming gathered activities at the church. Just this week our governor began lifting social-distancing restrictions to include recommendations for religious institutions. These delicate suggestions, coupled with the reality that over two-thirds of our congregation is in the high-risk category, have led our Lead Team to determine that it is not yet time to resume in-person gatherings.
The Lead Team’s initiative – to foster a vibrant connected community remains a top priority. Though we may not be physically gathered we can still be connected, sharing in our mutual joys and sorrows. I invite you to connect in one of the many online opportunities. The worship team is working hard to put together a monthly virtual communion service. Continue to reach out to one another through phone calls and written correspondences.
Amid this continued time of grief, Jesus’ words to his disciples come to mind. In John 14:1 Jesus says to his disciples who are about to be in the middle of their own challenges, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus gives this message of comfort in his farewell discourse as he draws nearer to the cross. Just as Jesus did for his disciples, he does for you also. Jesus calls us to find peace, not in health or financial-wellbeing, Jesus invites us into the peace of his trustworthiness. No matter what challenges we face, Jesus is there loving you.
We’ve seen this love exemplified in grocers, scientists, doctors, nurses, emergency responders, and others who are selflessly helping and providing for others. You too are loving with equal intensity in the important work of praying, sharing with others in grief and fear, and embracing others’ pain. As Jesus’ disciples, we continue with patience and hope in the trustworthiness of his love. A promise of love that survives and surpasses everything. Jesus’ promise of peace comes through each of you no matter where you are at emotionally, physically, or socially.
Let us pray together. Merciful God, in the stillness of our souls we listen for your voice to know again that you are God. Quiet our restless hearts with the knowledge that you are near us, keeping watch over your own. Rekindle our faith and light the lamp of hope within our hearts. Then take us by the hand into each day that lies ahead, for where you lead we can confidently go with Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
God’s Peace, Pastor Josh