My Pastor sent out this snippet along with the message that we will be having virtual service on Sundays. I do imagine that having 50 people chatting online during fellowship time will be more chaotic then it is in person, but this is the responsible thing do to.
And if the online connection can be maintained after we begin meeting again, it will be an awesome opportunity for those you cannot make it on a given Sunday to still participate.
It makes me wonder if this crisis, by forcing the need to look for alternatives to the status quo, will not open up the church to many who might not otherwise attend.
The message below from the past was perfect for me in the present, for I do not reside now in a spirit of fear, but rather I rest in my position in Christ Jesus and the glory that awaits me, and people still need each other’s help. I cannot shelter in place and just ignore a suffering world. Still, I should not be reckless and put the Lord my God to the test, or put others at risk by reckless behavior.
When the the bubonic plague returned to the German city of Wittenberg, the students and faculty of Wittenberg were told to leave the city. Martin Luther and his wife stayed behind. He wrote a letter entitled “Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague.” In the letter he not only advocates for staying in the city to help the sick and care for one’s neighbor, he also provides some good counsel:
“Use medicine. Take whatever maybe helpful to you. Fumigate your house, yard, and street. Avoid persons and places where you are not needed or where your neighbor has recovered. Act as one who would like to help out a general fire. What is the pestilence, after all, but a fire which consumes body and life instead of wood and straw. Meanwhile think thus: ‘With God’s permission the enemy has sent poison and deadly dung among us, and so I will pray to God that he may be gracious and preserve us. Then I will fumigate to purify the air, give and take medicine, and avoid places and persons where I am not needed in order that I may not abuse myself and that through me others may not be infected and inflamed with the result that I become the cause of their death through my negligence. If God wishes to take me, he will be able to find me. At least I have what he gave me to do and am responsible neither for my own death nor for the death of others. But if my neighbor needs me, I shall avoid neither person nor place but feel free to visit and help him,’ as has already been said. Behold, this is true and God-fearing faith which is neither foolhardy nor rash and does not tempt God.”