TRPC Broadcast Email – Monday 30, 2020
This was the third Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic has prevented our congregation from worshiping together in person. It was another strange Sunday, to be sure. Last Sunday (March 22), I was able to record the Gospel followed with an abbreviated message. With more preparation time this week, we were able to record an online worship service, rather than simply a scripture reading and sermonette. It was cathartic for me during this absence to know that our church had the opportunity to watch a (somewhat) normalized service along with a video Sunday School class online before worship. It was not the same as being there, of course, but it is the world we find ourselves currently in. Sunday’s service can be watched by visiting our church website at: TRPChurch.org and click on the link “Sunday Worship Service” at the top of the webpage.
To be sincere, though, this past Sunday was a little sad for me. The reality of not being able to worship together seemed heavier to me; more real, somehow. But sadness was just one of the many emotions that I experienced. Gratitude as well, to see so many trying to be church in this new way.
So, as I reflect on this third strange Sunday, what I am truly grateful for is to see just active God is amid this crisis, through the church; through you and me. So, we will all keep stumbling our way through YouTube and other new means of communicating reminding us all that although isolated in our homes, we are not alone. I continue to be thankful to all of God’s people who are sharing their faith with each other.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Our church building may be empty, but not our prayers. The people of Timber Ridge are praying for our church, our country, our family and friends, and there is great hope it this truth. Because God hears our prayers. James tells us (5:16) “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” And Paul reminds us that the righteous are simply those who live by faith, which is all of us. “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” (Rom.1:17)
We cannot know what tomorrow will bring, but we can say with confidence that whatever it brings, God will be with us, and we will be with one another, and in that promise, we will find hope for God is powerful and effective, and it is our Faithful God who walks with us.
May Christ’s grace, God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s fellowship sustain us and guide us through this challenge. Pastor Patrick