Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is with deep sadness and unshakeable hope that I announce to you that corporate worship services will be suspended for both March 22nd and March 29th. It was the judgment of the session, after much discussion, that the risks of illness for vulnerable members and the need to slow transmission of COVID-19 through various forms of distancing necessitated this difficult decision. On the one hand, corporate worship is a normal and necessary part of the Christian life. On the other hand, the acts of Lord’s Day worship have never exhausted what it means to worship our God or to live as his disciples. Throughout the weekend, I will be posting music, prayers, and a recorded message under the heading “Worship Resources.” You will also find the Daily Office worship guides on this page. Use these resources as you see fit. I would, however, request that you set aside the 10-11 AM hour on Sunday morning for a special time of family and personal worship. We may not be meeting together, but we can realize our shared place in the communion of saints by seeking the Lord at this hallowed time. On April 2nd, the session will meet again to reassess the situation and make plans for Holy Week. Please know that I am available for pastoral care throughout the week, and that I will also happily lead small group devotions for groups of five or less if anyone is interested.
These are unusual times, but I would ask you to remember two things.
First, we must remember, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (Psalm 115:3). That does not mean that God is “happy” about what is happening concerning the coronavirus. But it does mean that God is in control and that ultimately the coronavirus cannot stop his purposes or thwart his pleasure. He is the infinitely joyous and sovereign God.
Second, his pleasure is our greatest joy and delight. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8). Seeking the Lord earnestly and seriously is the only pathway to lasting joy. This was true 2000 years ago, and it is true at this very moment. Creation groans. Financial institutions fail. Bodies weaken. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Longing with you for the renewal of all things,