Christ Our SanctifierRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., March 22, 2020
Part of the Hebrews series.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
I hope and pray that you are all well, and that even in these difficult times you are experiencing the fullness of joy in our risen Lord and Savior!
Over the last several days I have been frequently reminded of the wonderful and reassuring words found in Philippians 1:12-14. There the Apostle Paul speaks of the fact that he has been imprisoned for preaching the gospel, what most would consider an absolute disaster, and something that would certainly result in the termination of his ministry. But look at what he says here about all of this:
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear(ESV).
Amazingly, Paul viewed his uncomfortable circumstances as an opportunity for the gospel to advance, not to be impeded! How incredible!
There is an obvious and most encouraging lesson here for us as we face the uncertainties, interruptions, and potential dangers of the COVID-19 outbreak. What appears to be a setback, or even a loss or tragedy, is often the very means by which our faithful Heavenly Father brings unprecedented blessings to His people, and advances His Kingdom.
I pray that this one amazing truth will prompt each of us to find the greatest confidence in our Lord today! Let us believe that even in the midst of “ what has happened” to us, He is powerfully at work, not only blessing us in ways that we would never have otherwise experienced, but also providing us with increased opportunities to declare the one Truth that really matters! And let us, in the spirt of such radiant hope in our Lord, be faithful to pray for one another each day!
The Latest Update on Worship
Yesterday, the Session made the decision to cancel all Church meetings and activities through Saturday April 4. However, as you know, our State Health Officer issued a directive later in the day that forbids all gatherings of more than 25 people through April 6. This means that we will not have worship together on Palm Sunday, April 5. Should this directive be extended, we will communicate with you as soon as we know. And thank you for your prayers as your Session makes decisions regarding our future meetings.
Beginning this Sunday, the sermons will be recorded on video each week, and will then be uploaded to the internet where you may view them at any time thereafter. Once the video for this Sunday is ready, we will send out a notice to the Church family.
Finally, our sermon for this Sunday will come from Hebrews 2:11-13. Below is a Worship Guide that you may use as you view the message.
I miss you all so much and pray for you constantly! Please let me, the Session, or any of our Deacons know how we may help you in any way at all.
All my love for each of you through our glorious and gracious Lord,
11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (KJV)