Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When will this ever end? I am sure each and every one of you has asked that same question along the way. We are all waiting and wondering when things will get back to “normal”...whatever that means now. We watch the news and listen in to what is happening and find ourselves asking every day, “What’s next?” “Where will the next turn of events take us?”
Whether it is the protesting that might turn violent or the numbers of deaths because of COVID 19 there are questions that plague us. Some may even be asking is this it? Is God’s return right around the corner?
I have no answers other than what we can find in the scriptures and they are words of hope. They are words that remind us of God’s deep love and willingness to stick it out with us. In times of great struggles which can overwhelm us it is sometimes difficult to believe that God is always at work for us, even when we find it difficult to believe.
These last weeks the readings for worship have focused on Romans 8. There is within this chapter the reminder that we live in a world that is groaning as it waits for God. We are reminded that we too are on edge waiting for God to bring all things together, but in the meantime, as we wait in the midst of chaos, we are to remember that God’s Spirit is deep within us praying for us and others “with sighs too deep for words.” Paul takes it to the next step to tell us that God’s got this! God is working things together for good! Then in a powerful statement of grace we are reminded that God will never be separated from us.
Oh, how we all need these words right now, especially as we find ourselves separated from one another. As some find themselves quarantined from others, maybe even from family members they can feel so alone. Separation is the key word these days, isn’t it!
Social distancing is in effect. Distance that makes us feel alone. Distance that keeps others at bay. Distance that is important, but for those who are the most vulnerable it can becomes deadly. Yet, when it comes to God the word “separation” doesn’t exist!
Though we may be “socially distancing” or “separating” ourselves physically from one another, God still calls us to connect with others around us. Our role as God’s people is to step up in prayer and in so doing we are tearing down walls and “standing in the gap” for others. It IS our place to care for those who are hurting around us and often the only way we can step up and in is through prayer. It is important to remember that prayer is NOT the LAST resort, but should be seen as our FIRST line of defense against the battles that are all around us.
The next two Sundays we will be having a sermon series focused on Romans 12 called, “Is There A Virus in the Church? Unmasking Our Christianity”. This will be followed by an outdoor worship on Saturday, August 15th at 6:30 P.M. with the sermon focused on “Standing in the Gap”.
Let’s start finding more ways to be together online or socially distanced.