MIDWEEK MESSAGE 26
Happy middle of the week to all of you! It sure has been a beautiful week so far. Crisp early mornings. Warm and comfortable afternoons. It is hard to believe that my calendar says next Tuesday is the first official day of Fall. I definitely have mixed emotions on that. I see my cycling weather coming closer and closer to a close and cooler weather (can anyone say winter?) just around the corner. But let’s enjoy the couple of months we have ahead of us and not even worry about winter. However, we could use a little bit of rain.
Before I go into some “details” I’d like mention, I thought I would share something I read this week (again) as I was studying for a sermon. My sermon is the one scheduled for October 4th entitled “What about Doubt?” If you have been reading these Midweek Messages you might remember me mentioning to you about a fantastic book I read called I’ve Seen the End of You by Dr. Lee Warren. Dr. Warren is a brain neurosurgeon who specializes in GBM (Glioblastoma). He has been a combat surgeon in Iraq and is now living and practicing in North Platte, NE. His book is a phenomenal read subtitled “A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know.” As I was using the book for research on the sermon I ran across a quote that really jarred me. To put it into context, Dr. Warren had lost a patient to GBM while operating and then was unable to save a baby who had been shaken so badly his brain was severely damaged (and they also found other abuse). He was sitting in the hospital chapel really angry and frustrated at God and at his own inability to save those people. The chaplain, who had also lost 2 children of his own, shared something with Dr. Warren which included this quote: “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” (Oswald Chambers, p. 152)
Fearing God is not being afraid of God. It is better understood as reverence. The chaplain’s explanation to Dr. Warren was this (using the example of a father and his son): “God is so big and powerful and mighty and dangerous and righteous that He’s kind of terrifying. But He’s also good. He promises that everything that happens is redeemable, that He can use it to make us more like Jesus.” (p. 152) There are lot of things happening in our world that can terrify us if we allow them to. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But we don’t have to give into despair or fear. Keep your eyes on the Father not on the news headlines. Okay…off my soapbox. Or is that step out from behind the pulpit? 🙂
The big item I’d like you to be aware of is our upcoming Youth Relaunch. It is actually coming in several phases.
- This coming Sunday evening ROOTS, the Jr/Sr High youth group will begin meeting for the first time since Covid hit. It will be from 5-7:00 here at the church building.
- Phase #1- Sunday, the 27th, is the relaunch of the Sunday morning children’s programs at 10:45. Ryan sent out a survey to all the teachers, as well as one to all the parents, and was able to analyze it and see there were many parents who said their children would come. All the areas of the children’s worship will be in operation, except a staffed nursery for now. When Gov. Holcomb says, “Stage 5” that will give us the go-ahead to open that. But besides that, all systems are “Go” for a reopening.
- Phase #2- 3 weeks after that “Go” from Governor Holcomb and he lifts the mask mandate, nursery and all classes will return to normal.
I gotta tell you this though! I am so excited for this to be happening. I am aware of what the pundits say: “Things will never get back to what they were. Get used to a new normal.” And you know, I agree. But I’m okay with that. There are some things that can go the way of the dodo bird and that suits me just fine. But I have to admit that I sure miss seeing many of you. There are, of course, some who have slowly made their way back. And I’m sure there still will be. But I am so stoked to see you. I will have to guard against being “down” if people don’t come back like I hope.
All of this will require a change in the Live Stream. We will not have the overflow room for Live Stream in the second service because that room will be in use. If you are concerned about the crowd or proximity to people I encourage you to try the first service (9:00). Not only is the crowd generally thinner, but we will also have access to the overflow room if needed.
Have a great rest of the week.