"The Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1, NIV)
Peter Steinke writes these words about anxiety: "When we are flooded with anxiety, we can neither hear what is said without distortion nor respond without clarity." My sense is that now is a time in which anxiety levels are high. It certainly feels like we are "flooded with anxiety." So, how do we respond? It is not easy in times like these. And yet, we may be able to hear words that can bring some clarity to how we respond. The words above from the Psalms are some of my favorite -- providing comfort in the midst of the storms of life.
Last week, in response to "storm" of the coronavirus pandemic, we chose not to meet for worship and canceled all church sponsored activities for now. We did this out of concern for the health of our church members and in response to the request by Governor Kemp for faith communities to consider not meeting for worship.
However, this Sunday we will be worshiping online. Your staff has been working together to create a new worship experience specifically for this occasion. You should be able to view the worship service beginning this Sunday morning through a link on our church website at jcpcusa.org. I'm asking all of us in the church family to gather "in spirit" Sunday morning as we worship God together in our homes.
Sunday's online worship service will include music, prayer, scripture, a sermon, and the opportunity to give. Throughout the season of Lent, we have been focusing on Bible passages from our Old Testament. This Sunday I have decided to break with that pattern and share a message I'm calling "Social Distancing." It will be based on Matthew 22:35-40. My hope is that it will give us some clear guidance for how to live in times such as these. Please make plans to join us and pass the word along to those who might need some grace and hope.