“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – Jesus from the Gospel of John
People of God, I write this short Lenten reflection to offer some Good News during the heart of Lent.
This is a Lent like nothing we have ever experienced before.
Never before have we had to suspend our Lenten worship services for fear of spreading a virus.
Even though we are not meeting together in our church building we can continue being the church and we will always be the Body of Christ in this world.
Nothing can take that truth away from us.
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor 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.” Romans 8: 38-39
We are still God’s people at this time and at this place!
We still share in God’s love and grace.
In the Bible the church was not seen as a building.
In the Bible the church was the people of God.
Maybe today we put too much emphasis on the building.
It is good to be reminded that the church is the people.
As God’s people we now need to find creative and new ways of meeting together.
We are blessed to live in a time of technology.
We can meet together in virtual ways.
This was not possible a generation ago.
Take this example, today I would have had an ecumenical pastor’s meeting in Delavan.
I love our meetings and cherish our time together as faith leaders in Walworth County.
But that in–person meeting for today is cancelled.
Our gatherings can be as large as twenty-five pastors which is an unsafe number to meet.
Instead we decided to still meet together through the technology of Zoom Video Communications.
We will now be able to meet together in a safe way as we continue to be the Body of Christ in this particular county.
This is the approach the church council has decided to take for our congregation.
We will explore virtual ways of being the church and of “gathering” as the Body of Christ.
In gathering in this way we live out the truth of our identity.
We are one in Christ.
We have unity through our baptism.
We are God’s children.
In 1 Corinthians 1: 9 we hear: “God is faithful, God has called us into fellowship with his Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.”
May we live more deeply into this fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ at this time.
Continue to look for important church emails.
Periodically, I will be posting short videos on Facebook Live through our Williams Bay Lutheran Church Facebook page.
On Sunday mornings I will offer a short worship service through virtual technology.
More information will follow on how to plug into virtual worship.
Continue to pray for our church, our community, our nation, and our world.
Our prayers matter.
Our prayers make a difference.
“The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.” James 5: 16
Please know that with intentionality, purpose, and vision I continue to hold our congregation in prayer.