MIDWEEK MESSAGE 16
Tell me again. This is early July correct? Okay, just checking. They used to talk about the “dog days of August” with its high temps and oppressive humidity. Maybe the calendar got switched! Nope. July 7, 2020. Well, no matter what day it is I hope you are having a good one filled with the goodness of God.
This past weekend we celebrated an unusual 4th of July. The virus thing put a kink in a lot of normal plans for celebrating the 4th. Fireworks displays were for the most part a disappearing act. Communities changed their festivities. Even families were more cautious. That can’t always be a bad thing when families spend more time together. We had a very quiet “grill out” Sunday afternoon. Jo grilled me some lamb chops and a brat (which I didn’t eat until supper several hours later) and some hamburgers and hot dogs for she and Tami. Corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, baked potato (for me and Tami) all made for a nice family meal. We only missed Janna and Braden but he was playing ball.
After Governor Holcomb’s most recent announcement of going to Stage 4.5 instead of Stage 5, it appears our decision to cancel the Abram Farm event was a good one. To be honest, it was a disappointment. Even one of the elders stated that last night in our meeting. But he also added: it was the “safe” thing to do. And I also believe it was the wise thing to do. But I was encouraged by their next words: contact Abram Farm and see if there are any dates in the future we can set up. I jokingly said, “If nothing else we have Christmas!” But I am going to check to see if it is possible to have a date sometime in October. I’ll let you know.
It has been awhile since I mentioned something we have here that is very important. It was brought to my attention last night in the meeting and it is worth mentioning again. Every Sunday, we have been gathering on a very limited basis. I so appreciate those of you who have ventured out. And trust me, this is not a guilt trip about to be laid on you. I know there are various reasons why folks are staying away. I get it. I don’t resent it or you for choosing to stay home. I have had folks say, “Bill, it is so nice to watch church in my recliner” or “Bill, I watch it in my pj’s and a bowl of cereal in my hand.” I laugh because that’s the way it is. I also know some are staying away because of safety for themselves or a family member who is a health risk. I get that. Back in my Midweek Message #10 I wrote that Jo asked me about my thoughts and I told her I was “cautiously optimistic” about people returning. I still am. I miss seeing you, for sure, but I don’t want you to come back and regret it. All that to say, i.e. going around Robin Hood’s barn to say this: please keep in mind that we have an overflow area if you feel uncomfortable being in “big church.” 🙂 Since we have been meeting there have been a few who have utilized that space. It is a good space to come with your children since they have some room to roam. It is also a good space to come and feel safe while still feeling like you are part of the worship. It looks like we will be using this space for at least some time into the future. The children’s worship will be delayed until we feel it is wise to open. Plus with school in session it will give our young people a chance to adjust to new things.
Speaking of youth: did you know Ryan prepares something for the children who come on Sunday? They have been a “hit” for them and it helps keep them preoccupied but learning as well. Which makes it a win-win. 🙂
There has been a lot of unrest the past few weeks as you well know. I have chosen to remain mostly silent on it for various reasons. I refuse to enter the political arena for one. I am convinced that politics do not belong in the pulpit. And I am very guarded about what I say outside the pulpit. I have very strong feelings about morality and various attempts at normalization some groups want to see happen. I will speak out about moral issues. But I will not speak out about politics in the pulpit nor endorse anyone. If you listened or watched the livestream/podcast this past week, I quoted a CNN commentator who made an anti-God statement. That is different. He was not a politician and I can’t sit back and watch someone defame God’s Name or say He isn’t needed or is inferior. We will continue teaching and preaching the Bible. To do anything less is cheating God and not giving Him the glory which is His alone.
Ryan will be preaching this Sunday. It has been since September that I have had a Sunday off and when I was working on this series I asked him if he would be willing to take a week. He said yes so you will have a chance to hear him. We plan on attending church with some friends elsewhere. Lord willing, I plan to be back in the office Monday. And yes, we are traveling to Ohio. 🙂
Have a good rest of the week. Maybe I will see you when I stop by some day. If not, still know that I love and miss seeing you.