A PASTORAL LETTER TO MY DEAR FRIENDS:
I just finished reading an article entitled, “Physical Presence is a Spiritual Gift” by David Kakish on the “Gospel Coalition website.
His text was taken from Paul’s introduction to the church in Rome.
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you- that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Rom 1:11-12)
Perhaps the reason Paul doesn’t specify the gift that he wants to bring them is because he himself is the gift. He longs to be with them in the flesh. He may not know exactly what they need; but he wants to be there for them. As always, he’s willing to become all things to all people (1 Cor. 9:22), but he needs to be present first to determine how best to serve them. What’s the difference between a letter and a face-to-face conversation?” You see, one of our greatest needs may not be more information; that can be communicated a number of ways.
Christ has made us a gift to one another. I want you to remain safe at all times. And, while we miss each other at worship due to COVID-19, “Can we safely physically be present with a few brothers or sisters in Christ in other venues that we can control?” We all need mutual encouragement. So, pray with me about finding ways to be around a few Christian friends safely.
Last week I mentioned that I was invited to come to visit a family outdoors in the shade to help me with some of my sadness. Is that a possibility for you as well? BTW: I am much better now! Outdoors in the shade at a distance can be a spiritually and an emotionally healthy experience. I would never encourage you to compromise your physical health. So pray and ask God how you might be a spiritual gift to another believer who is experiencing sadness.
If you were unable to be present in body on Sundays, I know you were being careful while missing your friends and extended family. We continue to miss you. Last Sunday there were 62 at 9 a.m. and 40 at 10:45 a.m. and 61 families viewed online during the service. If you are still tuning in online, thank you for your continued faithfulness.
A smaller room on campus is available to you during the sermon for your convenience. Then join us in the courtyard after the sermon to sing with the others. You know you are welcome. The kids love playing together on the playground. It is a great time for families with young children at home to catch up.
People continue to place safety of others by keeping the doorways free from crowds and wearing face coverings. Thank you for fulfilling Romans 13:8 which reads, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Keep encouraging one another, keep praying for each other and continue calling one another, continue being the church.