Our first weekend back was wonderful, and we had such a great time seeing people in person and worshiping together!!!  Several people requested that Pastor Bob share a letter he read before service, so here it is:

Return to Gathering Letter: 6-7-2020

We are so happy to be back together again!

There has been a LOT going on since we gathered last…

  • Covid-19 has brought out the best, and the worst in some people.
  • Nerves have become raw, and we see people lashing out at those who they deem to be the enemy.

As your Pastors, we have had to seek the Holy Spirit daily for guidance.

  • In a congregation like ours, there are people who are passionately on either end of the spectrum.

One of the biggest mistakes that we can make as individuals is to assume that everyone else thinks and believes as we do, and that if they don’t, it is our job to point out their error.

We are often blind to our biases and see the world around us through those biases.

  • Not all biases are bad: A bias toward loving the Lord Jesus is good.
  • A bias toward assuming the best in people is good.
  • A predisposition to love our neighbor in spite of our differences is good.
  • A bias toward helping those in need is good.
  • A righteous anger when we see evil and injustice in the world is good.

I personally admit that I have biases that I am completely blind to:

I grew up in a white suburban middle-class family

  • Parents still married after almost 60 years
  • Never went without what I needed.
  • Until I was an adult, I never even witnessed racism
  • Until I was an adult, I never witnessed poverty

Even now, when I do encounter those issues, it is through a lens that was formed by my upbringing.

  • It is virtually impossible for me to see life exactly as others see it.
  • I believe that every one of us has biases and blind spots that make it difficult to truly put ourselves in the shoes of others.

Here is what I know for sure: The cure for what ails this planet is found in the teaching of Jesus Christ!

That is why we MUST get our guidance from the Word of God, and not sources that have their own agenda.

The Bible is one source that you don’t have to question the motive of!

Look,

  • I love my God
  • I love my country
  • I love my family
  • I love my church family
  • I love serving the Lord
  • I’ll bet you all do too.

Why then does the outpouring of that love manifest itself in some not-so-loving ways at times?

  • Our biases can easily be manipulated by pride, emotion, and the Devil.

Let’s all promise to do our part to examine our biases daily, and make sure that they all reflect who we are called to be as followers of Jesus.

  • Remember, of all the laws given by God, Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, and He replied:
    • ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

EVERYTHING we do, everything we say, everything we post, should be able to pass this test.

  • More importantly, Jesus taught us that what was in your heart was even more critical than your actions!
  • 1 John 4:20 says “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
    • Harsh words?
    • ..

But if your thoughts and actions aren’t passing this test, you need to repent, I need to repent, and continue to renew your mind to reflect that of your Lord and Savior!

The best way to do that is to seek guidance from the source!

We love and bless you all!

Pastor Bob