Because of Minnesota's Stay at Home order we've had to change some plans. Here are important updates:
1. The plan for you to schedule a time to receive communion at church has been cancelled. I can visit you, however. If you'd like to receive communion contact me and we will arrange a time.
2. Worship has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. This will most likely include Holy Week. If there is any way we can worship for Easter we will, but it seems unlikely.
3. Video devotions and worship will continue.
4. A new secure mailbox has been installed at church so you may feel confident mailing your offerings.
You can view today's devotion here.
Why did you doubt?
Pastor John C. Berg
Matthew 14:27-33 (EHV)
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once, saying, “Take heart! It is I! Do not be afraid.” 28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 Jesus said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, walked on the water, and went toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid. As he began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”
This is your daily devotion for March 26th. It all kind of hit me today. I’m having one of those down days during the pandemic. Up to this point, I’ll be honest, I’ve kind of been energized by it. I’ve felt more useful to people. It’s been interesting making plans and figuring out what it means to be a church and a pastor during a time like this.
But today, really starting yesterday, has not been a good day. Governor Walz, understandably, has issued a stay-at-home order. And so all sorts of plans that I had been working on fell apart. Just hours earlier I emailed you explaining how you could schedule a time to come to church and receive communion. Well, we’ve had to cancel that. And we’ve had to cancel worship for the foreseeable future. You may have been expecting that but we had some hope that this would only be for a couple weeks. As of right now we will not meet for worship for the foreseeable future which includes Holy Week. We’re probably not going to get together for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday. That’s really hitting me hard.
I feel like Peter in Matthew 14. 28 Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 Jesus said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, walked on the water, and went toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid. As he began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Peter was going along just fine, kind of like how I felt. He was going along just fine, walking on water, and then just like that he started to sink when fear grabbed him.
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” That’s a good question isn’t it? Me of little faith, why did I doubt? Yes, these are trying times. Yes I’ve made about a dozen different plans that have been completely torpedoed in the last couple weeks as some news breaks a few hours later. Big deal! The Lord has blessed me tremendously. The Lord has blessed you abundantly. I’m not drowning. Maybe it feels like we are. Maybe if feels like we are sinking into the abyss like Peter was. Maybe this pandemic is going to take me down. But that’s OK because there’s another drowning that happened and that drowning fills me with confidence.
In the water of Holy Baptism my sinful nature was drowned. I was given new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. As were you. And no pandemic, recession or plans foiled can take that away. Be comforted by your baptism. Comfort your children by their baptism. The Holy Spirit made you a child of God and nothing can take that away.
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for the many blessings you have given us, especially the blessing of faith. We know that we will come through this trying time and on the other end, like the disciples in Matthew 14 , we will worship you by saying “truly you are the Son of God.” Amen.