Dear Members of St. John’s,
Jesus is risen, He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
As we reflect on the miraculous resurrection of Jesus, it’s important to note that He didn’t immediately depart this world. In the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension to heaven, Jesus made several appearances to the Apostles and many others. In other words, He was focused on remaining connected to us then as He remains with us now through the Holy Spirit, His Word and Sacraments, and prayer. While we remain physically separated as a church body, we can continue to stay connected as a body of believers to God through each other, through His Word, and through the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Staying Connected to God Through Each Other
This isn’t the first time the church at large has been threatened by widespread sickness. Martin Luther talked about this in a letter he wrote back in 1527 when the bubonic plague was rampant in Europe. He encouraged followers then to remain connected to the Word and to each other despite the physical challenges they faced. Like then, we must now care for each other – husbands, wives, children, aging parents, friends, neighbors. The church survived then and the church will survive now. This is all part of His plan. So take time to “love your neighbor” with an encouraging word, a selfless act, or a thoughtful prayer for someone during this time of concern.
Staying Connected to God Through His Word
For this Sunday, April 19, I will provide a taped message that can be viewed through the St. John’s website. I encourage you to take the time and listen to God’s Word through this medium to stay connected to Him.
As a reminder, I would again point you to other programs that are wonderful ways to hear God’s Word. Specifically, the Lutheran Hour radio program and other resources are available at lutheranhour.org. Also, Worship Anew is a series of taped services from Lutheran Ministries Media at worshipanew.org.
Staying Connected to God Through the Sacrament of Holy Communion
For this Sunday, we will continue to distribute Holy Communion using our “Walk-In, Family-Isolated” (WiFi) process from 9-11 a.m. Again, to be clear, we are not gathering as a congregation. We are simply providing a means to receive the gift of Holy Communion one family at a time through a safe, peaceful, sheltered, and familiar setting. I will have already consecrated the bread and the wine by the time you arrive. You may enter the St. John’s parking lot, follow the car line, and remain in your car. Once your car gets to the front of the line at the front doors of the church, you may leave your car under the direction of an elder, enter the narthex, receive the bread and wine from me, return to your car, and then exit the parking lot. The process has been designed as a sanitary, non-touch, safely spaced experience providing a peaceful, familiar environment for prayerful self-examination.
Finally, praise God for your continued financial support! As you know, we depend on you for financial support to help with our financial obligations and outreach efforts. Those that are participating in WiFi communion have been bringing their offering and dropping it in the basket there. Others who are staying home have mailed their check directly to St. John’s. And some are now giving online through the electronic giving section of our website at https://stjohnslexington.org/worship/electronic-giving/ . However you choose to give, we truly appreciate your continued offerings during this time of separation.
As always we are committed to continuing in prayer for one another, our community, our nation and its’ leaders, and all those who are being adversely affected by this difficult time. And as resurrection Christians we are relying upon and resting in the goodness and grace of our kind and compassionate Lord.