Sisters and Brothers,
One of my favorite quotes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” This quote has stayed with me for years. I love it because it says clearly that, “I know God is trustworthy and I trust God.” (My interpretation.)
This is a very ODD time for us all. Regular routines are changing. Old ones are TEMPORARILY not possible. New ones are taking their place. (Read that again.) Friends, the question I have is are you shaping those “new routines” or are you allowing circumstances to shape them for you? Now is not the time to be passive. Just because you may be temporarily confined to your house does not mean you need to become passive in your faith walk. Now is a grand opportunity to re-energize your TOTAL commitment to Jesus. Actively take time to decide, once again, what your real day-to-day RELATIONSHIP with Jesus will be. Of course, you already know His desire for the relationship between you two. But what is your response? How do you actually keep your end of the bargain?
Sisters and brothers, be intentional and deliberate in shaping your new routines in this temporary new “world reality.” Keep your eyes on how you want to come out on the other side of it. Focus on “going on to perfection” which is a John Wesley term for becoming more and more like Christ. Christ is perfection, and our goal ought to be continually becoming more like Him is every way. Choose to live as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the LORD always before me, because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Remember, faith is a choice, and this crisis will not last long, so use the time wisely because each hour is already a gift packed full of God-powered potential.
Now for an update on our worship schedule: We are celebrating Palm Sunday THIS Sunday! No, you will not see lots of children and adults waving palm branches, but you will learn a new way to do it yourselves during our worship together! (That’s called a promotional “tease.”) Tune in and you WILL be inspired, uplifted, encouraged, and hear a powerful Word from God.
While we are not gathering for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, we ARE coming together to celebrate Easter next Sunday! You will not want to miss this. The moving music, the life-changing Scripture, the heartfelt worship will all come together as we gather together in our virtual worship. Please join us!
Finally, in light of all the information and “stay-at-home” orders and as a continuing precaution, Bishop Trimble has directed all Indiana United Methodist Churches to not conduct in-person worship gatherings through April, but to continue to worship in electronic means. Also, Indianapolis Mayor, Joe Hogsett has extended the “stay-at-home” order for all of Marion County, through May 1st.
Friends, we are being very creative in the ways we are continuing to be connected. PLEASE JOIN IN! Your church family needs you and your virtual presence in the on-line studies, Facebook conversations, virtual worship, phone calls, and in all the ways we have to connect. And please, don’t forget the tithe.
God has a plan, and even though He did not cause this crisis (as some persons wrongly suggest), He can and will bring good from it. And part of that good is learning to be more creative in ways we love each other.
Remember that I love you! And let’s stay together in spirit and worship!
Pastor Rusty <><