Message From the Pastor

 

Dear Family of Faith,

I sarcely know where to begin, that sounds so cliche' but it is true. The hustle and bustle of modern life has slowed to a crawl. We have all discovered in these last two weeks that in our global world news and commerce are not the only things that travel fast. We all heard in January of a virus that emerged from a market in Wuhan China. The reports were vague as to orgin and seriousness. Then we heard of quarantines in that faraway place and paradoxically that thousands of traverlers were still coming and going on. By the time the dreadful illness reached our shores precious little was told to the public concerning the precise nature of the threat. You know the rest of the story. Today in some parts of our country neighbors are reporting if neighbors are violating "shelter in place" or "lock down" orders. Unless we live in a cave the probability is high that we know someone who has been in physical contact with someone who is unknowingly carrying the virus. In light of this reality many things come to the mind for the child of God. First and foremost, we are told in Scripture not to be afraid. I know I have preached and shared his text repeatedly yet it bears emphasis here:

2nd Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We need to stand upon this and reject the hysteria that has the potential to impact us longer than the virus itself. The virus is serious and as compassionate Christians and responsible citizens we need to be compliant to authoritative restrictions at this time (Romans 13:2). If we truly love our neighbors we will not want to unnecessarlily, unwittingly expose them to the virus. There is no conflict between common sense and faith. Maintaining safe distancing although awkward is just common sense. Secondly the challenges that we face should result in you and I getting closer to God. Perhaps now some of us will really become intimate with God, now that so many distractions have been removed. Let me reframe that last sentence so it will be more palatable. It has not been that "so many distractions" have been removed but that so many "potential distractions" have been suspeneded in our lives so that we cannot justify not spending more time with our God, our redeemer and the lover of our souls. The Scripture that comes to mind here is Psalm 46: 10-11. The whole chapter is spot on for our circumstances but let's look at these two verses.

Psalm 46: 10-11 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Brothers and Sisters, God is in control. When the disciples were in the boat with Christ during the storm on the sea of Galilee although he was sleeping, he was in complete control. There is no moment when Christ is not in control. Our text tells us that we need to be still, quiet and experience the peace that is always available to us even in the storms. Now is the time to show to our friends and neighbors just how a Christian should conduct themselves when faced with the challenges of life. We do not shake our fists at the governement, we don't demand our "rights" we do not fuss with others concerning paper products. We are calm and steadfast in our faith. We submit to properly ordained authority as taught in Scripture. We pray for and help our neighbors and take advantage of this time to listen to God and hear what He is saying to us while we endure the storm. Now is a tremendous opportunity for us to hear with clarity the voice of God and prepare for serving him with a greater zeal when the time comes, and it will. This cloud will pass, meanwhile The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Brothers and Sisters, Dorie and I are so anxious to see all of you as soon as possible. Meanwhile, let us pray and encourage each other!

Love in Christ: Pastor Woody Whitt