Urgent message from the Pastor:
REGARDING SERVICES, BIBLE STUDIES & EVENTS AT RISEN CHRIST
My Sisters and Brothers,
God is still on the throne and all of our tomorrows are in His hands! We do not need to fear anything. We do need to be wise, compassionate and conscientious as citizens in this temporary world, and permanent citizens of Heaven.
After the CDC and our President asked us to limit gatherings to 10 or less people, and in consultation with other LCMS pastors, at our council meeting last night, our Elders and Council, for various sound reasons, all agreed to cancel all services and studies during this 2 week quarantine. Until further notice, our next scheduled service will be on Palm Sunday.
This is a wonderful opportunity to have an EXTENDED SABBATH TIME over these next few weeks to focus on the Lord and our families… As individuals and families we can be intentionally in prayer and study, growing closer to our Lord in order for Him to comfort, heal, and equip us for now and what lies ahead.
As I shared with our Wednesday Bible Study last week, there are three things main things that shape us as Christians. Two of these things we need to CHOOSE as disciplines, and one of these things HAPPENS to us without even looking for it. What are these three things? In Latin – Meditatio (meditation), Horatio (prayer), and Tentatio (tension in life/temptation/suffering).
These first two crucial things, Meditatio and Horatio (along with corporate worship, where we hear God’s Word and receive His Sacraments, daily repentance, and obedience) prepare us for when our worlds get rocked the Tentatio moments! Meditatio and Horatio – God calls us to be disciplined as we regularly study and meditate on His Word and to develop a healthy discipline of daily prayer in order to learn to hear His voice, and be equipped to live as Christ-followers in this world.
So, we are in an international Tentatio-moment! As I was reminded by Rev. James Fundum at Concordia Theological Seminary, as we believers understand, our Scriptures are full of vivid imagery as to why God allows afflictions, even in the lives of His people. He prunes us to make us more fruitful. He disciplines us in love, like a father disciplining his children. He gives us thorns in the flesh to keep us from becoming conceited. He allows Satan to sift us as wheat. He refines us like gold or silver. He trains us – afflictions produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by them. They’re part of a Christian’s life. We’re partakers of Christ’s suffering. They’re for our good. They keep us humble. They test our faith. They strengthen faith. They work patience. They glorify God. We’re able to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. They drive us to the Word where He leads us to repentance, faith, and the beginning of the holy life. He turns our eyes away from ourselves to Christ. He turns our eyes away from ourselves to our neighbor – especially in this case – the weak, the vulnerable, the elderly. He teaches us to pray. He tutors us so that we put our God-given faith into action. He tutors us so that we put our God-given faith into action. So, pray intentionally and look for how God may use you to be His loving hands and His loving voice to your neighbors in your neighborhood.
As always, the Leadership of Risen Christ will remain in contact with each one of our members through our Website, Facebook, Email, and phone calls as necessary.
God is with you and for you. Cling to Him and His promises.