It Don'd On Me
As the CDC and local, state and Federal governments call for “Social Distancing” in an effort to curb the spread of Corona virus COVID-19, we and many communities of faith are taking this call seriously, and acting decisively with compassion and concern for the people most vulnerable to the worst outcomes of this virus.With God’s help and blessing, we choose to live and respond out of “agape love”: the “God-level Love” that always seeks the best interest and well-being of the other.The love that puts the real needs of others first, even when such actions call for sacrifice on our part—as it does on God’s part as well. Agape Love moved our Lord Jesus Christ from heavenly glory to human cradle, to horrible cross, to resurrection life and eternal crown. (Philippians 2:3-11) Jesus sacrificed much to model agape love and accomplish redeeming love’s salvation for us. In response to God’s love for us in Christ we seek the Spirit’s help and strength in loving one another as Christ loved us. (John 13:34-35) For now, this sacrificial love includes refraining from actions that actually define church: gathering together in worship, prayer, study and service of others. We are doing our best to stay connected “electronically,” with Sunday worship broadcast on Facebook live and available on our church website; with a new Wednesday evening virtual Bible Study to be led at first by your ministers, and by this “Friend” newsletter and other ways we can stay connected while physically apart. Your church Elders are trying to contact every active church member by phone, just to check in, ask how you are doing, ask what you may need, and how we may meet needs we couldn’t have anticipated. And to pray together with you. If you don’t receive a call in the next week, please don’t feel overlooked but rather call the church office, so we can be sure our calling list is accurate. Thank you! We continue to be the worshiping, praying, celebrating, serving, caring community of faith that is First Christian Church of Arlington. Jesus boldly proclaimed of His church that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” So an unknown stretch of time calling for our physical separation, doesn’t really have a chance to undo us, does it? Let’s be intentional now about being church: use those phones and devices to reach out to one another, check on each other, and pray for and with each other.Let’s all remember to pause each day at noon and offer prayer for our community and our world. We can always pray together.Church, we need to yearn, hurt and long for the day when we will gather, hug, sing, pray and praise in each other’s physical presence. We need to deeply miss worshiping together, passing and serving Communion to one another, breaking bread together, laughing and when needed, crying with one another. We need to long for eye contact and physical touch. This togetherness actually defines church. Until that joyful reunion—which will come —we stay connected in every way we can, while making the sacrifice of absence in body, which is the act of agape love required at this time for the good of all.It’s almost noon here—time to stop and pray with you, church.
Yours in Christ’s overcoming love,