Pastor's Page - July/August 2020
Bless the Lord all my soul, and all that is within me,
bless His holy name! Psalm 103:1
July 11th will mark 4 months of the declaration that COVID-19 is a pandemic. At this time in my life I’m choosing not to worry about this “novel coronavirus” labeled COVID-19. Why am I choosing not to worry about it?... Not because it is not real. It could turn out to be devastatingly real and looked back upon in our history like one of the plagues! On the other hand, it could turn out to be just a minor bump, or even dip, in the overall mortality rate of humankind in the year 2020. The truth is whether this “novel coronavirus” turns out to be a hardcover edition or simply a paperback (My attempt at humor) really doesn’t matter to me. The real cause of death is sin in the world. The means of death are many and varied (accidents, flus, organ failure, etc…) but we know that death is unavoidable – whether we are isolated or not. So, am I choosing not to worry about COVID-19 because it is beyond my control? No!... I’m choosing not to worry about it because God’s Word tells me that I don’t have to worry about it!
There are so many wonderful gifts that our Heavenly Father has given to His children. One of them is contained in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, make your requests known to God.” What a blessing for each and every day! Please note, Philippians 4:6 does not say, “Be anxious for nothing (except for a novel coronavirus of course – everyone knows you must quiver with fear when those come around). If God’s Word instructed me to fear viruses, then I would quiver with fear. But praise God, this is one more thing that I don’t have to worry about!
What a blessing it is to not have to worry. God is sovereign over all things. God is aware of the time, date, and means of my exit from this life into eternity. This thought can make people uneasy. Some wonder, “If God is Sovereign, does this mean that all life is predetermined and it really does not matter what I do?” No! God’s knowledge of the outcome does not invalidate our participation and engagement in life. Jesus died for us so that we might live an abundant life of service to His kingdom with thanksgiving to God; therefore, we live with generous hearts that are quick to forgive others as we have been forgiven in Christ. God’s sovereignty over all things should not cause us to disengage, instead we embrace each day with confidence knowing that He has promised us eternity through Christ. This knowledge gives us the confidence to forge through difficult circumstances knowing that nothing in this life can separate us from God’s love and care for us. A reasonable response to God’s gift of life and redemption is: “I’m going to praise and thank Him as long as I have breath, I want to serve His kingdom by caring for others and proclaiming His truth and love.”
Although the last four months seem to me to be some of the most challenging times for our country, I invite you to join me in thanking God and resting in His wonderful offer that we bring our anxieties to Him in prayer. As we move forward this summer, things may get better, or they may become even more challenging, but God’s grace and mercy will be sufficient for each day.
In July we will begin our committee meetings again. We will also resume our coffee hour between the services. In order to be compliant with the community protocols, our tables will be spaced over six feet apart and we will work to minimize the contacts on the various food items. If you are concerned about your health, or others, you are encouraged to wait until you are more comfortable with group activities.
I am cautiously optimistic about the Fall. It is my hope that the Williston schools are open and our Sunday School, circles, Bible Studies, youth activities, and other large events are unhindered. But whatever the future holds for our world, I invite you to join me in giving thanks to Our Redeemer for granting us life in His name.
Blessings to you in Christ,