April 2020 Pastor's Page
FROM THE PASTOR
“…By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.
Upon the willows in the midst of it We hung our harps….
How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? Psalm 137 1,2, and4
The people of God were in captivity in Babylon. They were exiled and separated from the temple of God. They were in an unfamiliar place and a foreign land. They now longed for the things they had taken for granted, things for which they had forgotten to give thanks to God. In captivity they realized what a treasure they had received in being made God’s people; a treasure that they had despised in neglecting God’s instruction.
I have read this Psalm many times, but I have never identified with it. It is a Psalm about captivity; candidly, I have never felt “captive.” That is until this past month, particularly the last two weeks. The final weeks of March have been the most significant change to life in America that I think any of us have ever witnessed. And not only life in America, but around the world. Travel is almost at a complete halt; schools are closed; individuals and families are “self-isolating” for two weeks; the NHL, MLB, NBA, PGA, NASCAR, and all youth sports have shut down for a time.
Stranger still, as we have been asked to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people; congregational worship is taking place over the radio or through other electronic means. And as time passes the precautions are increasing, not decreasing. The Federal Gov. is now recommending social distancing through the entire month of April. We are living in unprecedented times!
For me, the most difficult part of all of this is missing my church family. An empty sanctuary on Sunday morning feels in some measure like I’m a captive in a foreign land.
In the case of the children of Israel, their captivity produced in them many good things. Such as: a thirst for the things of God, a thirst for the Word of God, a thirst for the worship of God, a thirst for fellowship with other believers. This longing for God generated a thirst for renewal.
It is my prayer that as a nation this time of isolation will produce a greater thirst for the things of God, for the ways of God, for the worship of God, and for the fellowship with God’s people. It is my prayer that the stripping away of so many activities might create opportunities for God’s people to indeed heed God’s Word where He says: “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!” Ps 46:10
I don’t want people to say, “Lord, make things go back to the way they were.” I want people to cry out, “Lord, help us return to you.”
This crisis will end, and I’m sure that the future holds many more crises for all of us. This is why we need a Savior, and this is why Jesus gave us the gift of our brothers and sisters in the church, the body of Christ. Right now we are temporarily separated, how wonderful it will be when we gather once again to worship God together and share in His fellowship with our fellow believers!
In Christ’s Love – April 2020
Pastor Steve Lundblom