“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8.)
Who likes change? Most of us don’t like change at all and even those who don’t mind change would say that the last two weeks have been a little too much change. Stores are closing. Restaurants are closed or serving only take out. Schools are somewhat closed as they try to provide some sort of education for your children at home. We can’t have church and Governor Evers has just announced that only essential business can be open and the rest of us should stay home for the next 30 days! So much change. Where did normal go and even more when will normal return?
This is an unprecedented time. Each day seems to bring new regulations and expectations. There is so much unknown. We are living in an ever-changing world right now. All of this can lead us to feeling anxious and concerned.
And yet we have a reason to have hope and to rejoice. “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God never changes. God loves us the same today in the middle of this mess as he did last year or 10 years ago. God said he would be us with always to the very end of the age and guess what – he is and he will! God is faithful.
But I can almost hear some of you saying, “But Pastor – you don’t understand -- there is so much fear and uncertainty.” Yes, the Coronavirus is real, but is it really any worse than all of the other evil effects of sin that affect our daily lives. I get it – this virus is real and the effects of this virus are real, and I can’t guarantee you nor does God promise that you and I and those we care about will not get this Coronavirus. But this I do know and God wants us to know that he gives us this guarantee and promise that he will be with us each and every day as we wait and watch for this to be over. So what should we do?
In these times of uncertainty and fear, we need to look to God’s Word. Consider the following passages.
- Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” (Who is really in control? – God still is!)
- Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who can always be found in times of trouble.”
(God is our mighty fortress to protect us in all troubles)
- 1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” (Don’t try to carry your burdens and fears – Give them to Jesus)
- John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let it be afraid.” (God’s peace takes away all our earthly fears)
- Philippians 4:6 – “Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Talk to God often for strength and help)
- Romans 8:38-39 - “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor rulers, neither things present nor things to come, nor powerful forces, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Nothing this world throws at us can take God’s forgiving love way from us)
So, what can you and I do?
Things are different, but be assured they won’t always be. This is a tough time, but our God is tougher than it all. Some things will change but one thing never changes—God’s love for you is ever present and his promises to be with you are sure.
Pastor Mark Gartner
Our plan is to still Livestream our Wednesday and Sunday Worship Services until further notice. I know that this is not quite the same as gathering together as a large group at Church, but we can be very thankful that we are still able to gather around God's Word through this technology.
Our Sunday Teachers have mailed out the Sunday School lessons for Kindergarten - 5th Grade students. They should be arriving later this week. The lessons through the end of April are included in this mailing. You are encouraged to work through them with your children. If you have any questions, please call church.
Spiritual Resources For Uncertain Times.
As we find ourselves in these uncertain times, we know that God's Word is our only strength and hope. Our Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) has a number of different resources that may help you through this difficult time. This link will direct you to a list of helpful materials: https://wels.net/spiritual-resources-for-uncertain-times/
Our Northwestern Publishing House is also offering some free materials which may be beneficial for you:
We Are Here To Help
We want you to know that we are here to help you through any troubles you might be facing. Please don't be afraid to call any of the Pastors or the Church Office with any of your questions. We will do our best to be of assistance. We ask for your prayers and patience as we go through these uncertain times.
Please also keep an eye on each other. Stay in contact with those who are elderly or living by themselves or those who may be going through medical issues. If you happen to run into some financial hardships or know someone who may need some financial help, please don't hesitate to call one of the Pastors and we will seek to provide some sort of financial assistance.