By Pastor Bob Myers
When I am in uncharted waters, I need an anchor. Anchors root us in what is solid. Our knowledge of God is meant to be our anchor. I know no better summary of the Christian faith than a question and answer summary of the Christian faith written in 1563 called the Heidelberg Catechism (catechism simply means a question and answer method of teaching). I encourage you to press into this whole document and read the entire thing. It is a masterpiece of personal faith and warm hearted devotion.
To anchor us as a congregation, I intend to lead us each week in reading together the first Question of the Heidelberg Catechism and it’s Answer, called Lord’s Day One. It answers the question, what is your only comfort in life and in death?
You can find the full catechism right here: https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/heidelberg-catechism
This situation is made more difficult for us in that the sinister nature of this virus requires that everyone view themselves and others as a possible asymptomatic carrier. I received communications from hospitals requiring pastors to not visit patients who are not suffering from any viral symptom. Social distancing is dehumanizing. It flies in the face of all the normal needs and normal responses to needs. But this is what is required, and it is required of all of us.
What that means to us is that we have to amplify the connections that we can make. While physical presence and physical fellowship in the same space is cancelled, relationships are not cancelled, Conversations and texting and phone calls are not cancelled.
I have a dream that every single person who has attended Covenant Church in the last few months receives some inquiry or contact of care. That means that each and every one of us is now clearly deputized to carry this ministry out.
At a time when many are hurting, grieving losses, and suffering the loss of normal ways of dealing with stress, we need each other like never before.
While Covenant Church is working to provide online connection for worship, for prayer meetings online (Next one Thursday 3/26 at 7pm on our Facebook page), and for small groups these do not replace but rather seek to encourage the one to one, person to person relationship.
As we do this, and pursue all the ways of connection person to person, let’s remember also that our greatest need is our connection to God in Christ. Our God is not socially distancing Himself from us. He actually moves towards us when we are hurting. “He is near to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit”. Let’s really seek His face. Let’s spend time with Him in worship. Let us truly lift our eyes to that higher place and renew our strength through personal and private worship.
I believe the greatest healing of all our anxieties and losses and griefs in this season will be most healed by that vertical connection to God that we will enjoy together on the first weekend when all corporate fellowship and worship is restored. That first weekend back will be more full of joy than any Easter celebration we might have enjoyed before.
I look forward so much to that first weekend when there will be no need to fear a handshake, a hug, or worshipping in a packed-out room. When that day comes, my vision is that one of the first things we do together is to recite the words to Heidelberg catechism question 1 with upraised voices and spirits to the glory of God.
I miss you. I am filled with a longing for seeing all of you together and all of you as individuals. But I know our God will bring that about eventually. And when He does, it’s going to be GLORIOUS! I love you in Christ and prize our common bond in Jesus more perhaps than I ever have. May the Lord hear our prayers and deliver us soon and teach us all that He intends to teach us along the way!