March 30, 2020
A week ago I was feeling pretty discouraged, if I’m honest. This pandemic business is a whole different animal. As a pastor, I get to do a lot of listening and engaging people who are hurting. Something I have to keep tabs on is my own emotional reserves as I try to help carry others’ burdens.
That’s the insidious thing about our current situation–we are each having to deal with depleted mental/emotional reserves as we cope with the realities, fears and isolation of this pandemic. This makes it difficult to come alongside others who are suffering and afraid. I can see it in the faces of our church leaders–even on a computer screen. At the same time it’s beautiful to see our leaders and church family step up to pray and care for each other in the face of crisis.
This weekend we had about 40 families and individuals tuned into the livestream for worship (and more watching later). It was fun to see all the comments and interactions. We have about 10 people joining a book study this week which makes me think we could get more groups together online for study, prayer and encouragement. Right now, there is a team of people getting ready to call every person in our database on the phone to check in and see how they are doing. Our outreach crew is devising ways to track down tangible needs and get resources to the people who need them. The stories of God’s love expressed through his Church are stacking up.
What are your stories? Really. I want to hear them. WE want to hear them. I believe this week we will begin to see the tangible ways God redeems tragedy and heals wounded hearts. Things may not change for a while. We may yet suffer more than we ever guessed. That’s why we need to hear your stories because they give us hope and glorify the God we trust above all else.
I can’t wait to be encouraged by you and document God’s faithfulness to his people!
I love you, CTK family! Nothing can stop Jesus as he brings us together as one…for every one.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.