MIDWEEK MESSAGE 13
Welcome to the middle of the week and, of course, that means you are the recipient of the highly anticipated, Spencer-renowned, Midweek Message. I know you woke up on Wednesday with the most exciting thought ever: today is the day I received Pastor Bill’s Midweek Message. Then you went directly to your computer or phone to see if it has arrived yet. No? Well…you should. 🙂 Seriously, I do hope you and those you love are doing well and staying safe and healthy.
I must confess that I am writing this in spurts over several days. We found out midweek last week that Braden (our 13 y/o grandson) plays his first baseball game Tuesday, the 16th. When you get this it will already be over. The 16th also happens to be mine and Jo’s 47th anniversary so I am going to take her to the game and plan to spend the night in Columbus, OH. We will probably take him to IHOP for French toast (his favorite there) and then head home. It’ll be a whirlwind trip but you make great “sacrifices” for your grandchildren. I’m suspecting every grandparent knows what I am talking about. Some friends of ours were planning on taking me to a belated Christmas gift to Indy to see Jeff Allen, a Christian comedian. I asked if Jo could come along. 🙂 That was supposed to happen in April but “rona” happened. They rescheduled it for June 15th and well…”rona” is still around. So Texas Roadhouse it is instead. I can taste that salmon already and, as I write this part, it is Thursday. Man, I’ll have to deal with a lot of drool if I keep this up.
There is one factor which everyone has had to deal with during this “rona” thing. Churches. Businesses. Schools. Organizations. Families. Individuals. It is called Change. We try to avoid talk about change a lot in the church. You know the arguments raised: “We never did it that way before” (called the 7 last words of the church). “Why do we have to change? Why can’t we go back to what it was before ‘rona’?” Everyone is faced with change. Real change takes place slowly. It is like a car or truck in first gear. On trucks it is called “the creeper gear.” For obvious reasons. So many get discouraged and give up. Breaking habits or years of tradition is harder for some than others. Some people go kicking and screaming into a new year or decade on the calendar, let alone being asked to change their whole method of doing things. For some reason, churches seem to have more difficulty changing than other entities. Being asked to change the way we do things is as painful for some as it was to get away from using the King James Version of the Bible. You’d a thought someone had asked them to chop off their head and commit high treason.
Truthfully, we have no option but to change. A failure to change is a sure recipe for death. Church will no longer be “church as we knew it.” Just the fact we are doing online church, and will continue doing so, is a perfect example. Jo once asked me if I thought people would come back after the whole virus thing is passed. My honest answer was “I hope so but the reality is some will; some won’t. I have to accept that and move on. I will continue doing what I need to do-preaching, teaching, ministering the best I know how-no matter if they come in person or watch from home. It is a good option; I don’t think it is an adequate substitute for in-person church, but people watch online for various reasons. I will continue being their pastor and let them know I love them.” So if you are an online watcher, thanks for tuning in. Since I don’t know who tunes in, if I can be a pastor to you, then please feel free to contact me.
I want to remind you again that we will continue slowly moving into full in-person services. We will continue using safety measures to help you feel comfortable when coming to the church building. Our first full expression will be July 19th at Abram Farm (unless Governor Holcomb directs otherwise). We will be starting at 10:00 and follow with a pitch in. Abram Farm is a beautiful facility and Bill & Suzie are most generous to us. You can sit outside to eat if you prefer. We will also have tables set up inside. We just look forward to seeing everyone in one place (if you feel comfortable joining us there).
I’d like to ask you to stop reading this for a moment and remember to pray for our law enforcement folks. A glance at the news (only a glance is worth it) shows they are under siege. I read recently that two bicycle companies have stopped selling bikes to cops. I want to scream out, “Get a life!” One is a French company and one has a factory in Wisconsin. I wonder…no better not go there. We have several in our church fellowship who are involved in law enforcement. Last week the church donated a bunch of cleaning and sanitizing supplies to the Sheriff’s department as our way of showing support. They put their life on the line every day for us. The least we can do is show them respect for doing their job.
As always, I have gone on long enough. Have a great week. See you this weekend!