Grace Family - oh, how things change in a week!
Grace Family - oh, how things change in a week! We take great comfort in the truth of Hebrews 13:1-8, which ends with "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers who faced imminent death because of their belief in Jesus. Hebrews 13:5-6 quotes Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 (which ended the letter from the elders that was sent out yesterday) and Psalm 118:6. Our God never changes and he never fails, no matter the twists and turns of life. Rejoice in our faithful God this first day of discernible self-quarantine.
We have an advantage over our first-century brothers and sisters in Rome - the likely location of the recipients of the letter we know as Hebrews. We are free to openly communicate with one another through a variety of electronic means, and even if that were to fail, we have James Staley to organize a ham radio community!
This afternoon, I will be sending a Bible Study for us to share together on Sunday from Psalm 46. You may want to familiarize yourself with this psalm. For the home groups that meet tomorrow (and, you may be less inclined today to think about meeting than you were yesterday), I trust you will be blessed as you worship together. Even if we are all in our individual homes with this study, we will worship together in spirit, and we trust we will be able to gather together, soon. By next Sunday, we may well have better options for gathering as an online community, not as people who consider themselves followers of a church three states away, but as members of the covenant community known as Grace Community Church.
The President has declared tomorrow, Sunday, March 14, a National Day of Prayer. As we pray for a quicker than anticipated end to this disruption of our lives, let us be sure to remember the most vulnerable in our congregation - the elderly and those with weak lungs. There are a number of our brothers and sisters, young and old alike, who fall under this category. COVID-19 did not take the Lord by surprise. He never changes. Our hope is in the Rock of our Salvation.
Pray for one another, serve one another, and love one another, well. The day may come, soon, when believers are in the middle of caring for those who are sick and dying at the expense of their own lives. Christians have often served in this way over the centuries. At the moment, the best way to love our neighbors is to isolate. This will cause huge disruption to commerce in our land and will affect many of you, directly. We are in this together. With the Lord's help, we will get through this together, according to his design for the Church. It is a time when we are beginning to suspect that we truly are dependent on him for everything. This may be a difficult lesson, but it is never a bad thing for believers to be dependent on the Lord in their hearts, as well as in their words.
From Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." May we run to him and rest in him so that his greatness may be declared to a hushed world.