Trinity Lutheran Church,
Based upon government recommendations, we are suspending worship services this week (including Wednesday and Sunday services) as well as ALL group gatherings or meetings. This means no small group bible studies, AA, council meetings, board meetings, etc… I encourage you to instead utilize phone or internet resources to virtually meet and discuss what business you might have. Additionally, this suspension will most likely last for several weeks into the future but will be evaluated week to week as the government guidelines have been changing day-to-day. We will keep you informed as we move forward.
Along those lines, I will also be setting up virtual worship services for us as a congregation where you will be able to worship from your home. I am still working on the details and specifics of that virtual worship experience, and I will send out those once I have them available. Keep in mind, that I am always available via phone, text, or email and would gladly welcome a chance to talk with you about your concerns or any spiritual turmoil you are experiencing.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, the level of escalation and government response to the COVID-19 virus has been a very dynamic and fluid situation. In just this past weekend the government guidelines have moved from no gatherings of 250 or more people, to 50, to 10. As Christians, we are commanded to obey our government as it says in Romans 13:1-2: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” This is a perfect example of the government being put in place by God to keep all of us safe.
Furthermore, although you might not be in the risk category of people who are the most susceptible to this disease, you are called to sacrificially love your neighbor. As Christ says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34). This means, even if you personally don’t think you are at risk, you must sacrifice your own convenience and desires for the protection of your weaker neighbor. Christ loved us sacrificially to the point of death and we are called to love our neighbor in that same sacrificial way. Many of our congregation members fall into this risk category and we need to serve and love them in the best way we can.
This response is NOT driven out of fear for our future. It is driven out of love and obedience to Christ and our neighbor. Christ has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20, etc...). And that promise is more powerful than any virus and while it isn’t a promise that you won’t ever get sick. It is a promise that despite sickness, death, and fear of the unknown we have something known. We KNOW that Christ is the savior of this world. We KNOW that His life, death, and resurrection has restored the world even NOW. Yet we await the final fulfillment of that promise when Christ will come again and end all our suffering as the result of sin.
So as we wait through this pandemic, rest assured in the presence of Christ. He will be with us throughout this time and will bring us safely to Him. Therefore pray with me as we seek our Lord’s mercy on this world...
Lord, have mercy! We ask for your protection on our community, our nation, and our world as the ravages of Adam and Eve's sin plague us. Keep us from harm and fear. Give us wisdom and faith to follow Your word, to obey our government, and to love our neighbor as You have loved us. Let this be a time that Your words shine into our hearts and that through quiet reflection and meditation we might follow the example You have given us. In the midst of all of this let Your name be glorified. In Your name, we pray, Amen.
Luke Scheele, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church