- We will keep HEPA-13 air purifiers running at all our public gatherings
- Our leadership team will continue to get tested for COVID-19 every week before preaching on Sunday and administering the Sacraments
- The Communion leader and assistants will use hand sanitizers and/or wear gloves
Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Our hope is not, ultimately, in masks, vaccines, or the Center for Disease Control, but in God. In the midst of our fears and anxieties, the Bible calls us to entrust all things, by prayer, to the God who cares for us (Matt 6:33-34; Phil. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:6-7). Job 14:5 says that “[man’s] days are determined, and the number of his months is with [God], and [God has] appointed his limits that he cannot pass,” and Psalm 68:20 assures us,“Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the LORD, belong deliverances from death.” God is able to deliver us from death, and no virus can arrest our lives from His sovereign will.
Moreover, we serve the Lord Jesus who has defeated death. So we are a people who defiantly proclaim, as in 1 Corinthians 15:54-56, “‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”! Whether we die of cancer, a car accident, or COVID-19, ultimate victory belongs, not to death, but to us through Jesus Christ! Though presently we live in a fallen world full of disease and death, a day is coming when “[Christ] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
Please feel free to use this prayer guide when you are fearful due to COVID-19. If you would like to meet with Pastor Shawn for counseling, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are called to love one another, which involves caring for the sick among us. 1 Timothy 3:15 calls the group of believers who gather together for worship “the household of God, which is the church of the living God.” When we gather in the name of Jesus Christ for worship, we are God’s household or family. By virtue of sharing God as our heavenly Father, we are all Christian brothers and sisters. And 1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (cf. John 12:12-13). Jesus said that “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
In the book, The Rise of Christianity, Rodney Stark, a sociologist from Baylor University, recounts the meteoric rise of Christianity from a fringe movement among Jews to the majority religion of the Roman Empire in merely a few centuries. One of the main factors that he attributes this growth to is the fact that during the small pox and measles epidemics of 165AD and 251AD, which wiped out a third of the entire Roman Empire each time—several millions of people—while many people left their friends and family and abandoned the cities in order to save themselves, Christians stayed in the cities to care for the sick among them. This led to the Christian population having less casualties than the general population, and this love made the church very attractive to unbelievers and led to many conversions. Dionysius, a believer at the time, remarked: “Most of our brother Christians showed unbonded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains. Many, in nursing and curing others, transferred their death to themselves and died in their stead. … The best of our brothers lost their lives in this manner, a number of presbyters, deacons, and laymen winning high commendation so that death in this form, the result of great piety and strong faith, seems in every way the equal of martyrdom” (Festival Letters, qtd. by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 7.22, 1965 edition, as qtd. in The Rise of Christianity, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1997, p. 82).
If you have COVID-19, or sick with some other disease, we will drive you to the hospital if necessary, set-up a meal train for you, and, most importantly, pray for you. Please contact our deacons to request help.