From the Pastor’s Pen 

Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Our lives have been disrupted. COVID-19, an unseen enemy, has invaded America and the rest of the world. We find ourselves sheltering in-place and forced to stop meeting together as the Body of Christ at St. John’s Lutheran Church.  The teleconferencing online program “Zoom” is now the way the majority of us at St John’s are worshipping on Sundays and Wednesdays during Lent. Others listen to recorded sermons on our Website and still others are receiving written worship material. It’s all good, isn’t it? 

I think so. Christ is still at the front and center of our worship. That’s as it should be. Those meeting online are still able to fellowship, albeit virtually. We have adapted both as Americans and St. John’s.  

What’s next? I wish I could tell you.  At the risk of repeating what we hear over and over on T.V. and the Internet – “We will get through this, together.”  We will, I am positive of that. 

That’s not to say there won’t be further adaptation. There will be. This Sunday is Palm Sunday and next week will be Holy Week. Palm Sunday will be online with “Zoom”, the website, and printed materials for some folks. We are going to miss Maundy Thursday, I am afraid. Tough to celebrate the Lord’s Supper virtually. I know some church bodies do that, but it’s not who we are as Lutherans. For us the Lord’s Supper has always been incarnational not virtual.  

Then Easter on April 12th. Again, we will adapt and do the best we can with what we have – maybe put some Easter Lilies behind me in my home office. Again we will do the best we can.  But the fact is “He is risen. He is risen indeed, alleluia, amen!” Nothing can change that.   “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:5,6).

The important thing is that we stay together as a church and keep Christ as the center of our worship and our lives. “(He) is the same yesterday, and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  He is the one who will see us through this ordeal. 

Until then, “(let us fix our eyes on) Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). 

We will get through this together, by the grace of God.  

In His Name, 
Pastor Hilton

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