From Pastor Ellis, July 16, 2020
Who has held the oceans in His hands?
Who has numbered every grain of sand?
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice
Who has given counsel to the Lord?
Who can question any of His words?
Who can teach the One Who knows all things?
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds?
I need the reminder from this hymn. I need these questions to echo through my mind. They protect me from my greatest danger and offer an enormous service to me as they flatten my ego, crush my pride, and expose my ridiculous self-confidence.
Christians who know their Lord soon learn that the bed rock place of blessing always starts when we are poor in spirit. Recognizing intellectually and emotionally how desperately helpless we are is to see reality. Out of that so many other good things flow:
- It enables me to mourn, the only appropriate response to my own sin and our world’s rebellion.
- It knocks me off my high horse of indignation with other people as I see their need is the same as mine. This makes it not only reasonable but easy to deal gently with them.
- It makes me a fan of mercy for others because I am aware again of how much mercy I need.
- It resets my appetites. Do you talk to yourself? I know you do; I am not the only crazy person. When that conversation sounds like my own personal defense attorney, extolling how right or innocent or superior I have been compared to others. . . well, there is a name for that. Self-righteousness. Jesus, who I have acknowledged as my boss for time and eternity, hates that. When I am not full of it, then suddenly I begin to starve with a new and wonderful longing. Being hungry and thirsty for true righteousness kills those longings for petty and wicked things which I am so easily tempted to think will satisfy.
Our Savior and Lord becomes precious and we want nothing more than to worship Him in our own thoughts, with other believers and to be part of inviting those who have not yet known Him to enter into His life.
Who has felt the nails upon His hands
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man?
God eternal humbled to the grave
Jesus, Savior risen now to reign!
Behold our God seated on His throne
Come, let us adore Him
Behold our King! Nothing can compare
Come, let us adore Him!
The Lord sovereignly and providentially works to bring us again and again back to this place of poverty of spirit that leads us to a life of worship. He does this personally for each of us, but He also brings things on us corporately. He interacts with whole families, churches, and nations. Surely the present crisis of disease and national chaos is meant to humble all of us into a better place of receiving and being a blessing.
So, let me apply this for where we are at right now.
Got an opinion about the Corona virus, social distancing, wearing of masks? Bet you do.
From the beginning of this I have been thankful for the people of King’s as we have faced the changes and challenges together. Of course, we do not all see this or anything else exactly the same. We remember 1 Corinthians 12; different parts of the same body will have different perspectives. If you think the Bible lacks humor read again Paul’s imaginary conversation among body parts, vv15-21.
And then we come to this:
1 Corinthians 12:26-27
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
Let me encourage you to stay engaged with the life of our church.
- If online worship is your only option, then work hard to lead your family to engage in it. Help us make it better. We are working on ideas that involve people at home helping us minister to others joining online.
- If you can join us with your physical presence but need the safest option possible, then the 9.15 outdoor/in car worship is for you. There is something about getting up, getting dressed, traveling together to meet the Lord in worship that I think has value. Some Sundays stormy weather (like last Sunday) will wipe us out. For the rest of the summer certainly heat is an issue. We are seeking to add some elements to this service that will enhance it for everyone, including some things that only the folks in this service will get to enjoy.
- Finally, in our indoor services, 8.00 at Pioneer and 10.30 at our central campus, we need to redouble our efforts at respecting the need for careful social distancing.
- We are asking everyone in all parts of the worship center to abide by the plan marked out.
- We are asking everyone, if at all possible, to wear a mask as you enter and leave worship. We will have masks available in case you do not have one. Whether you consider this good policy or utter foolishness (and yes, I have heard medical opinions across the board about this) I do believe this is an expression of love that has no downsides and will enable others to join us who cannot without this.
- Please do not stop and talk in the lobby. Let’s move outside where distances are easier, and people can pass in and out feeling safe. Only parents with children who need attention should be in the lobby once the service has started.
- We will have more ushers in place this Sunday to help people find their way in. We will have the AWANA auditorium for overflow.
Love those who may express opinions different from your own. Let’s keep a sense of humor as we pray for each other and are reminded of how little we all know and how great our God is.
Finally, in the next weeks, we will be considering new opportunities that these days open to us to do the Lord’s work together. Historically, Christ’s church has done our best kingdom work in the hardest of times and places. We must not miss this moment.
Pastor Frank Ellis
Update for Sunday, May 17
8.00 Indoor Service (Pioneer Campus)
9.15 Drive-In Service (58th Ave Campus)
10:30 Worship inside (58th Ave Campus)
10:30 Worship Online: Service will be live-streamed
- For our Drive-In worship, two opportunities in the cool of the morning: 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
- As you arrive a parking team will be in place to direct you to a parking spot.
- Our time of worship will be a little less than an hour.
- Be mindful of the request to maintain a six-foot distance from one another in our interactions. Stay with the group you came with and no mingling with people in other cars. (Waving, shouting, and maritime flag signaling are permitted.)
- Our online broadcast will be available on Facebook this website and other venues (check here) beginning at 10:30
- As information and the situation develops we will communicate when worship in our church building and our other ministries will resume.
IF YOU ARE HOSPITALIZED . . .
Our local hospital does not allow us to make regular visits at this time. Our pastor can only visit in cases of severe emergencies. Have a need? Call us.
List of daily videos for children and preschoolers produced by our church family to help our church families!
AT OUR DRIVE IN WORSHIP SERVICES
We will sing. Pray. Read God’s Word. Teach and preach the Gospel.
You will receive a practical tool that will expand your ability to serve the Lord during this “interesting season” in our community.
We hope to take the Lord’s Supper together in the next week or two.