Wednesday, April 1, 2020
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” – Psalm 121:1-8
Psalm 121 is “A Song of Ascents” that pilgrims would sing to pass the time as they made the long journey up to Jerusalem for one of the three annual festivals. And, indeed, they would go “UP” to Jerusalem…for Jerusalem (the home of Solomon’s Temple) sat on a hilltop.
When we speak of the Lord today, we speak of One who is “UP” or “Higher” than us. He never declares everything to us, for there are secrets God has, and will always have (Deuteronomy 29:29). Yet, when we worship the Lord (while we may not remember every sermon title or be able to recite every Scripture verse) we may know for sure that God loves us, and that the Lord our God is our true source of help and ultimate security. When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something. When there is trouble all around, God is still on His throne, and will never leave you. And thanks be to God that He has revealed to us the way to salvation!
Now, some of you may be like me and are listening in to the daily White House briefings concerning the coronavirus pandemic. One new bit of information since my last update includes the fact that social distancing has been extended through the end of April. Although the social distancing has been challenging for many people on so many different levels, I would encourage you to stay the course while noting, once again, that God is in the center of this pandemic (Habakkuk 3:5) and that He will see us through this.
Outdoor/Drive in worship services with communion will continue as usual at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The distribution of communion is dependent on weather circumstances. If you have any questions about these worship services, please feel free contact me. We also have previous updates on the church website that may address some of your questions. Recently, I have had pastors as far away as the Illinois border calling me up for more information about these worship services. It seems to be catching on!
In addition to Sunday mornings, we will also be having a Maundy Thursday service with communion (weather pending) at 6:00 p.m. on April 9th, and a Good Friday service at 6:00 p.m. on April 10th. Due to the popularity of the outdoor/drive in worship services, we are also planning on having two services on Easter Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. With the exception of minor changes in the spoken liturgy, these Easter Sunday morning worship services should be identical. There will be no Easter Breakfast on April 12th. However, I’m thinking it would be a good idea to have a belated Easter Breakfast and celebration once restrictions are lifted and we are able to worship together inside the church building once again.
I’ve been looking into the possibility of starting an online/interactive Bible study through gotomeeting.com. I have not activated an account yet. However, as of this writing, I am setting a goal of engaging in such a Bible study on Wednesday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m., and continuing these as long as social distancing is enforced. If you are interested in participating in these Bible studies, please contact me by phone or e-mail so that I may send you the relevant information prior to that day. As for tonight, I will have another responsive prayer service posted on my personal blog: jatvierkant.blogspot.com
If you would like to receive a pastoral visit or receive the Lord’s Supper apart from the regular worship services, please do call or e-mail me. One additional note…food pantry bins will be placed outside of the church entrance on Sunday mornings for those who wish to make a donation. The April food item is: canned fruit.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Jon Vierkant