From the Pastor's Desk . . .
Dear Members of Trinity and Our Savior Lutheran Congregations,
We are living in challenging times. Due to the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, our society is undergoing rapid changes. For example, many businesses—small and large—have shut down, many universities have finished their school years early, and many churches, including the congregations of our circuit of the Texas District, have modified their schedules and practices, including putting worship services and Bible studies online. These disruptions in life raise many questions in people’s minds, including Christians, many of whom want to understand what God is doing among us.
While much of God’s will remains hidden, He has revealed what we need to know in times like this. The coronavirus, COVID-19, is part of a fallen creation (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-22). As descendants of Adam and Eve, we suffer the consequences of their sin and creation’s corruption. For example, sickness and disease, including viruses, are common experiences among human beings, and sometimes these illnesses result in death. As the Bible teaches, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23a).
However, the above verse continues: “But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23b). This is the Good News about Jesus that you and I have to share with our families, friends, and neighbors. This is the message of Easter: By His suffering, death, and resurrection, Christ Jesus has won the victory over sin, Satan, death, and hell. While skirmishes, like the present pandemic, may continue in this fallen world, the battle has been won. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
While the President has extended his coronavirus guidelines until April 30, 2020, thereby affecting our congregations’ ministries, we will continue to be faithful Christians and good citizens. We will continue practicing social distancing—even after April 30th—and we will continue to take wise precautions for our health. As Luther writes in the Small Catechism, we will “help our neighbor in every bodily need” (Explanation of the Fifth Commandment) by not knowingly putting him or her in a situation where emergency services might not be available due to an overload caused by an outbreak of COVID-19 in our community. We will abide by the President’s guidelines, but I look forward to worshipping with all of you on Sunday, May 3, 2020, God willing.
Until then, God grant you His peace and the patient endurance which are yours in Christ Jesus. See you in church!
Your co-worker in Christ,