Week 5: Christ-Centered Proclamation
Oh Mission Family.
We’ve been praying for you and seeking the wisdom of the Scriptures for the right words to share and for the appropriate actions to take in the midst of this unprecedented time. What’s driven us most is our love for you and our commitment to honor Christ and fulfill His mission despite any obstacle. Of all the obstacles we may have anticipated facing, I can assure you that a declared pandemic was not one of them. Nevertheless, as we’ve been learning in our Colossians series, our God is sovereign over all things, including the unseen. Psalms 91 serves as an encouraging reminder of how even King David sought to find comfort in God’s protection over such things as illness and pestilence.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. – Psalm 91:1–6
While God is sovereign, Jesus reminds us in Luke 4:12 that we are not to put the Lord our God to the test by way of presumption. It seems appropriately clear that God desires for us to use wisdom and be discerning in times like these. This is exactly why we have all obliged with little resistance to the admonition to wash our hands. What’s become more complicated though is that this unprecedented event has led to unprecedented measures and requests by our rightfully concerned community and civil leaders. Just yesterday, Governor Wolf requested that all gatherings of over 250 people be suspended. Further in paraphrase, he called for religious leaders to be discerning and wise regarding his request so to help keep our communities safety. To this request, we look to Romans 13:
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. – Romans 13:1–3
So wisdom and obedience are calling us to be rather creative in how we gather to worship this Sunday. While I’m not thrilled for our plans to be disrupted, I am actually eager to share the plan. Are you ready? Alright. Then let me say what it is and then explain.
The plan is to broadcast our service online and gather in our small groups for church.
We believe that church is so much more than a “Sunday service.” And while we can broadcast the “service” online, we have to remember that the church by definition is a gathering of people. It’s in times like this that I find coming together to encourage one another with the truth to be most needed. This is exactly what the author of Hebrews was saying when he wrote:
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:22–25
Obviously, we understand that it’s not reasonable, nor possible, for everyone to gather this way. Some may not feel comfortable gathering at all during this time. And we want you to know that we totally understand and do not want you to feel any pressure to do so. Most definitely, if you have any sickness, please stay home and worship online. It’s not worth compromising anyone’s immune system. On the other hand, we feel this approach enables us to move forward in principle and wisdom. Honestly, it reminds me of Acts 2 that says the church gathered in the temple court and from house to house. We’ve always said that we are not a church with small groups but a church of small groups. Now this week, we have the opportunity to see it prove true! If you are not currently part of a small group and would like to join one for this Sunday, please email email@example.com.
Friends, this is a gospel opportunity that we must approach with a gospel perspective so that we can do the gospel work we are called to do. In a world that is grappling for peace and asking for answers, we have a hope that has been made more sure. We have a Savior that protects and heals, and we have a gospel message that needs to be proclaimed as loud as ever, which leads me to this week’s sermon. This Sunday, we will be focusing on Christ-Centered Proclamation from Colossians 1:24-29. Take some time to read over the passage and consider the lengths Paul went to in proclaiming the gospel.
Click here to listen to the worship set as you prepare for Sunday.
Here are some practical things to know:
The plan is to broadcast our service online and gather in our small groups for church
- We will broadcast both the 8:30 AM and 10:45 AM services from the Lancaster Campus to watch on your TV, computer, tablet, or phone.
- The best ways to watch live online are:
- We will be using a Digital Friendship Register this Sunday. To be prepared, please download the Mission Church app for Apple or Android – mission-church.com/app
- To be clear, we are not meeting at either of the Lancaster or Myerstown Campuses this Sunday. You will be hearing from your Small Group Leader very soon to confirm meeting locations and times.
- Please stay home from your small group Sunday gathering if:
- you are not feeling well, especially if you are experiencing a fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose.
- have traveled from an affected geographic area within the past 14 days.
- have been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
If you need help, or have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am praying for you!