Hebrews tells us not to give up meeting together.
How do we meet together in a time like this?

March 20, 2020

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another
—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

If you are like me, I would imagine you are beginning to realize there is a new normal. Words and phrases are coming at us at lightning speed. Social distancing, isolation, self-quarantine, flattening the curve—all of these are terms that have special meaning in this pandemic as we take extreme measures to limit the potential outbreak.

During this pandemic and as we live by the rules which are being placed on us and recommended to us, how do we continue to live out the meaning of Hebrews 10:25?

I look so forward to the weekends. On Saturday night and Sunday, I get to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ and we have the opportunity to love on each other and together show our love for the One who is worthy of all our praises. The encouragement that comes into my life when I am together with God’s people is amazing—and I am sure it is for you as well.

That is part of what the author of Hebrews means here. It is important to get together to encourage each other. He is writing to a largely Jewish audience at a time when they have already felt the touch of persecution (10:32-34). They will need to live by faith (10:38), and they will need to stand strong, not shrinking back (10:39). Part of what will help them do that is getting together, encouraging each other—even as the Day approaches.

Therein lies hope and a challenge. The author of Hebrews tells his listeners to encourage each other, as they meet together, with more fervor because the day of the Lord is closer now than it was before. The Day of the Lord’s coming is even closer for us. Jesus is coming again. It will be a time of glory and judgment.

So, back to the question. How do we meet together during the pandemic? Differently than we did before and with even more intentionality and creativity! Start now planning how you can make the worship time special for you and your family. Get ready. Here are some suggestions—think of others on your own! Talk about it with others.

Have Sunday school time with your kids. Prepare your hearts to be together electronically. Have your breakfast ahead of time—or fast from breakfast to prepare your hearts. Don’t watch in your pajamas—get ready, as if you were really together with others. Anticipate the moment that you will watch your service online. Pray with those who are with you before you turn on the live feed. Invite others to your home for this time. We can do this together.

Let us not give up meeting together!!

Pastor Chuck

A proper focus during the pandemic

March 15, 2020

In times of uncertainty, it is important to focus on that which is certain. As followers of Jesus, we must focus our hearts and minds on him and on his plan for our lives and this world. It is true that this pandemic of 2020 is having a tremendous impact on all the things that we have come to trust in. This gives us an opportunity to refocus our trust in the One who is trustworthy. We know that he is sovereign over all things and that this has not taken him by surprise. We need to stand firm. We are not of those who shrink back (Hebrews 10:39). We are ready for this! So, let’s take this time to consider how we can focus ourselves on the truth of who God is and not be carried away by the winds of uncertainty that are all around us.

  • We waste the pandemic if we give way to fear and anxiety instead of resting in the faithfulness of God. He has not given us a spirit of fear. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • We waste the pandemic if we allow it to take our hope. But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Psalm 71:14
  • We waste the pandemic if we trust in the news we hear instead of trusting in the God who holds the whole world in his hands. In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise—in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:10-11
  • We waste the pandemic if we spend more time focused on researching the disease and the potential outcomes than we spend time focusing on the Scriptures that declare the faithfulness of God. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4
  • We waste the pandemic if we focus on how it is affecting us instead of the impact it is having on others, looking for ways to reach out and serve. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
  • We waste the pandemic if we do not let the next generation know that we trust in God. I will sing of the LORD'S great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1
  • We waste the pandemic if we do not take this time to claim the authority of Jesus over it and seek to make disciples. Our mission has not changed! Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
  • We waste the pandemic if we seek to assign blame or look for reasons outside of ourselves instead of realizing that we are all in need of repentance. Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5 (see also Daniel 9)
  • Finally, we waste the pandemic if we lose heart and focus on the temporary instead of the eternal. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

May we hold tight to the Lord and make him known during these uncertain days!

Pastor Chuck