Response to COVID-19
Dear Redeemer Church,
Just imagine it. The wedding date is set. The food has been ordered. The invitations sent. Everybody anticipates the special day. Then due to a present distress—perhaps a plague hits your city, perhaps a war begins—you have to change course and delay the festivities. Such happenings weren’t foreign to the early church. Paul had to give very practical instructions for those engaged to be married in a context like this: “I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is” (1 Cor 7:26).
Sometimes we encounter present distresses that force us to rethink the normal agenda and take practical steps to care for one another. At the same time, we know that none of these distresses are beyond the Lord’s control. Rather, “creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption...” (Rom 8:20-21). Even in distress, there’s design. There’s purpose. There’s a goal toward a new creation. Knowing this enables us to respond to present distresses with wisdom and prudence, while also not losing sight of God’s sovereign purpose.
We find ourselves facing a present distress. COVID-19 represents a significant and disruptive event. National and local health officials strongly recommend limiting public gatherings. In response, the elders believe that we ought to follow these recommendations in the best interest of our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable among us. Trusting in the Lord, we are responding with the following measures:
- Beginning Sunday, March 15, we are cancelling our normal Sunday worship service.
- Ben and Bret will be present at the Redeemer worship center Sunday morning to greet visitors and to speak, counsel, and pray with those who may not receive this message.
- We encourage you to gather together in families or small groups to participate in worship. Gary Brumley has put together a home worship guide. We also intend to post a sermon on the church website so that it is available Sunday morning.
- Here are the links for this Sunday:
Throughout the Week:
- We are asking Care Group leaders to reach out to their groups and discuss ways to care for one another during this time.
- We ask members to give special attention to the elderly and those with immunodeficiencies, seeking ways to serve them during the week as well. This may include running errands or shopping for groceries to keep them from possible exposure. If you are able to serve others during this time, please let us know.
- If you are aware of needs among the congregation, please let us know. The elders will be available to visit homes and care for families in need throughout this season.
- This is an opportunity for gospel ministry and to show love toward one another. We encourage you to take this time to meet your neighbors and build substantive relationships with them.
This health crisis reminds us of human frailty and should move us to look to the eternal God in humility and faith. As Moses prays in Psalm 90, mankind is like grass that flourishes for a brief time but quickly fades and withers. We are swept away as with a flood, giving vivid testimony to the reality of God’s wrath against a world that prefers to ignore Him. A proper recognition of this truth leads us to cry out to God, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
We love you all and look forward to seeing you as we are able.
Grace and Peace,
Bret, Ben, Dale, Wes, and Trey