by: Mark Zier
These are unique times that create opportunities for us to live out our faith in Christ while using knowledge and wisdom that He supplies through the medical community. We are loved by our Heavenly Father and He has not ceased watching over us or walking with us. We cling to His promises and continue to trust in His protection.
As I write this blog, there are NO identified cases of this virus on our island! That's the good news. Unfortunately, things are changing rapidly and we need to be prepared for if/when the virus spreads to our community. We also can be doing what we can to reduce the risks for ourselves and for those around us, especially those most vulnerable to contracting a virus like this. Christ has instructed us to love our neighbor, as we love ourselves, which means we are to care for others. We cannot, nor would I expect us to, ignore the potential harm COVID 19 can cause.
Again, this is a time in which we EXERCISE OUR FAITH in God through Christ our Lord! We also exercise our faith as GOOD STEWARDS of the gifts God has entrusted to us, not the least of which is our health and life itself. We exercise our faith as we LOVE and CARE for our neighbors, both by protecting them from exposure and by assisting them when they have needs which we can meet. We exercise our faith as we PRAY, trusting in the Lord's promise to hear and act on our behalf. We exercise our faith as we gather for WORSHIP, whether in person or via online methods.
While some churches have either chosen to, or been forced to cancel worship services and other gatherings, for now we are keeping our worship schedule intact, BUT PLEASE, if you are sick or not feeling well in any way, stay home! Likewise if you have any underlying health issues, it's probably best for you stay at home for now.
Here at Christ Lutheran, as we gather, I am asking that we greet one another warmly, but not with physical contact; no hand shaking or other touching. Prior to Communion I always cleanse my hands with sanitizer before handling the elements. I would encourage those who usually prefer the Common Cup, to consider taking the individual cups during this time. After each service, I will be available to greet and talk with folks on the lanai, but will not be at the door to greet you on your way out, in order to not put anyone in an awkward position of feeling the need to shake hands or hug me. This is for your protection, not mine.
Given the fluid nature of things, please check back for notices about changes. The Board of Elders and Church Council and working closely with me and I am receiving council from our District as we navigate how to best faithful carry out our mission of helping people Experience Christ's Love, especially during these challenging times.
May the peace of God which passes all human understanding, guard and keep your minds in Christ!