Over the last few weeks I have come to realize a significant gap in my education. College, seminary, and graduate school did not prepare me for the current situation. There was no course titled Pandemic 101. I wish there had been. I would like to have had a textbook that outlined the steps a pastor takes during this type of crisis. A lecture or two from someone who had been through the experience. But alas, no such course exists, there are no textbooks and no lectures.
We do affirm as the people of God that we have absolute confidence in the creator of the universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the only one who sees the end of this crisis as we struggle to walk through it each day.
Since we don’t have a pandemic textbook to walk us through the next steps I will suggest that we can take some steps in discerning God’s will and plan for the future. The first and most obvious step is prayer. It is impossible to discern God’s will without spending time listening and talking with God. God is a good listener.
Let me further suggest that we practice patience. If we believe that God is omniscient, then we believe that God has purpose and works in every situation. God doesn’t always work the way I want, but I’m not God. Prayer for God’s direction and patience will help us as we walk through this difficult time.
God doesn’t allow difficult times to teach us something. God allows difficult time to build character. The nature of our character is clearly on display in the ways in which we speak and act toward one another.
We are not in this alone and it’s not about what I want, but about building up the body of Christ. Over the course of the next few weeks you will notice some changes in worship as we seek to involve others, working toward a safe and healthy reopening so all can join in corporate worship. Moving forward we will continue to offer worship online each Sunday morning at 10:00, Have your Hurd?, Wednesdays with Wolfe, and How’s Your Prayer Life? Some small group activities will begin to hold functions at the church. It is our intention to move forward prayerfully and carefully. We need your prayers and your patience. I’ve been a pastor for almost forty years. This is my first pandemic. Please be gentle.