March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dear Church Family,
I will miss gathering with you for worship this coming Lord’s Day. I really will. It makes me cry just thinking about it. The Elders made the heart-wrenching decision to forgo gathering for worship this coming Sunday, March 22, 2020. We will make these decisions week-by-week. We have done so, in part, out of respect and deference for the governing authorities and their clear desire to limit all public gatherings to less than ten people.
We acknowledge that the governing authorities have not formally asked churches to stop meeting, and still, it is their clear (if still implicit) desire to do so. We cannot forgo meeting together forever, for as you know, our Lord Jesus through the writer to the Hebrews commanded us not to neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:24-25). Still, during this extraordinary period of time, in an effort to honor the governing authorities (1 Peter 2:13-17), we can, for a finite period of time, forgo meeting together.
The hope of those in authority, as you know, is that these measures will limit the impact and spread of the Coronavirus pestilence. In this time, we should be careful not place our hope in wise measures (and they are wise). Though we should follow wise measures, in this time we must fix our hope on God. We should pray and plead for our God to use these wise measures to have mercy and limit the spread of this pestilence.
As many have pointed out, the church has faced pestilence before, and we should not consider forgoing a Lord’s Day meeting as shrinking back. We have not made this decision because we are afraid of disease or death. We must be honest, some in our church family may die from this pestilence, and that is not our desire. Whether the Lord in his sovereign providence should spare us of such grief or lead us through such suffering, we can trust him. We are not afraid of death because we serve the risen Christ – the One who conquered the grave. Though we may die, yet shall we live (John 11:25-27).
In the next few days, the elders will send out a guide for how you might spend your next Lord’s Day well (songs, Scripture readings, etc.). For now, we want you to do four things:
- First, fight fear (anxiety) with a greater fear (awe). Remember the words of Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Draw close to God. Read your Bible and pray through the church directory.
- Second, as you read your Bible and pray through the church directory, reach out to members the Lord places upon your heart and especially those who are vulnerable and in need. Keep an eye out for our elderly saints and for others who may be lonely. Call them, write them a note (a snail mail one!), send them an email. Find out if they need groceries, prescriptions, or anything at all.
- Third, please continue to give regularly and sacrificially to the church as you can. In addition, please consider giving to the benevolence fund. We may have some members of our congregation facing serious economic impacts due to this virus. If you are in need of resources and help from the benevolence fund, do not hesitate to reach out to the elders of ABC.
- Fourth and finally, remember that we are strangers and sojourners on this earth. Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13). Our time here on this earth, even in this extraordinary season, is limited. Soon our King will descend from heaven, and he will transform our perishable bodies into imperishable bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42). Be persuaded of this: Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of glory (1 Corinthians 15:49).
With love for Christ, and longing to be with you all again,
For the elders of ABC,