A truism we often hear is, “The only things one can count on are death and taxes.” Another truism I would offer, which you certainly have heard is, “The only thing that is constant is change.” We have all experienced massive changes in our lifetimes with advances in medicine and engineering. We have seen attitudes toward sexual orientation shift from one of abhorrence toward same-gender relationships to one which has come to be accepted as normal with protections of law to support the position.
When I received my training for ministry over forty years ago the issues we are facing today were not known nor even speculated upon; they would have been too radical and outside what we would have been willing to accept. The Church has undergone monumental changes in its understanding of itself and how it conducts its worship and business. Mainstream, historic churches are struggling to survive and be relevant to a culture that has largely walked away from the need for organized religion. The challenges are legion; the possibilities are exciting; and God is constant and good.
We face a pandemic with the COVID-19 virus unlike any other any of us has faced in the past. Questions are more plentiful than answers; information is conflicting; paranoia is ever before us and we find ourselves in a vulnerable place, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I would encourage us to pay close attention to the precautions being put forward by medical professionals and exercise discretion. I would also encourage us to not forget the faithfulness of our God. Scripture is clear in its insistence that God is immutable, that God does not change. He is, “the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” That in itself ought to be the place where we put our emphasis and our trust. God does not leave His people desolate and without His presence, His leading, and His providential protection. On these things we may rely.
I would ask you to keep our membership in prayer during these uncertain times. Pray for protection for those at higher risk, those whose finances may be hard-hit, and those who own small businesses as they could easily be out-of-business in short order without an influx of revenue. These hard times provide for us an opportunity to be more faithful in caring and in prayer.
~ Pastor Jim