As worshippers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one of the highlights of our week is to gather together with our church family to worship our great God. The corporate gatherings of believers for prayer and worship are glorious privileges for each one of us. One of the things the Lord has been teaching us through 1 Thessalonians is that we are to put on the breastplate of faith and love (1 Thessalonians 5:8). One of the prayers is that the Lord would make our love increase and abound toward one another and toward all (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Our President has issued guidelines for all of us to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people for at least the next 15 days. This guideline and others were given to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. One of the ways that we can express love to all is to honor this guideline as a church family during this difficult and strenuous time as a nation. Therefore, we will not hold our regularly scheduled Sunday and Wednesday worship services until further notice. We will continue evaluate this very fluid situation and determine the next steps.
We also still want to increase and abound in love toward one another during this time. Thankfully, because of modern technology, we have some unique opportunities that will help us through this time. Pastor will continue the series of messages through both 1 Thessalonians and Revelation the next two weeks and the sermons, along with a song service, will be uploaded on our website by the respective Saturday evening.
Here are some practical ideas that will help us to keep growing as a church family during this time:
- Pray! Every time you hear news or update concerning the virus, take time to pray for God’s mercy and that His Word will continue to go forth.
- Worship! Although we will not be meeting together as a church, take time by yourself, with a few other individuals, or as a family to worship the Lord through the sermons and song services that can be found on our church website.
- Evangelize! Since most things are closed down, many people have extra time on their hands. Consider reaching out to those who need Christ with a link to an online sermon from our church or another applicable resource.
- Reach out! Make a phone call to at least one person from the church just to see how they are doing and to see if they need anything during this time. Maybe make a phone call to another church member on Wednesday night just to pray with them.
- Give! This can involve giving of our food supply or personal items to someone in need or giving of our offerings to the Lord so that His work in Hamburg and around the world can continue to go forth. Without our regularly meetings, giving to First Baptist Church of Hamburg can either be done online at fbchamburg.com/give or through a check in the mail.
- Guard! Guard your mind by putting on for a helmet the hope of salvation! Keep waiting for Jesus Christ to come from heaven to deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:8-9). This will help us to run with patience (1 Thessalonians 1:3) during this time of missing our corporate gatherings for worship.
- Anticipate! With great joy and anticipation, we long for the next time that the body of Christ in Hamburg will meet together. It might be here or it might be in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), but either way, we know we will meet again!
Keep looking up,
Pastor Leary & the Deacons