July 24, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ:
Welcome from wherever you are! We’re glad you stopped by here on our website. And right now, and for the rest of the month of August, this is the place to be!
I’d like to welcome you also to our ‘brick and mortar’ location for worship, however we have put in-sanctuary worship on hiatus for all of August. With the sharp increase in COVID cases here in Polk County and out of an abundance of caution for each other, the elders and I believe it best serves our congregation and community to suspend meeting together for worship on campus – for now.
Part of our vocation as Christians is to care for each other and make the needs of others a high priority (2 Corinthians 13:11, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 4:7). It is with that in mind that we make this decision. It could be argued that caring for one another should lead us to keep meeting on Sundays. And there is a good case for that as well.
It is our desire, however, given our current circumstances, to act to protect the physical health of one another to the best we are able to do. God gives us physicians and researchers whose calling it is to give advice and guidance for the general welfare. And their best advice right now is to refrain from meeting together when possible.
So we are following this advice for the coming month. We will revisit this decision that last week of August and decide as to how to move forward at that point. Like now, whatever the given circumstances are that we find ourselves facing at that point, will inform what decision we will make then.
We never lose sight of the fact that God is sovereign in all things (Luke 12:3, John 16:19, 1 Timothy 6:13, Revelation 1:8) . And that our circumstances do not catch God ‘off-guard’. We trust Him to act and to care for us as is evidenced by His taking care of our greatest need; that of reconciliation with Him. This He accomplished through the cross of His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:17).
By Christ’s sacrificial atonement for our sins, God has accomplished overcoming our fall into sin. Knowing that nothing escapes His notice (not one sparrow falls that He is unmindful of, Matthew 10:29, Luke 12:6), we trust what we are going through has not escaped His notice either. In fact, it is something we can be absolutely certain He has known about from creation! And in the midst of these uncertain days, He has chosen to grant us the treasure of hope in the provision of salvation made for us by His Son Jesus Christ alone.
And as we learn more and more to lean on Him and trust in Him to guide us through these times, we will learn again that He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). Again, I invite you to join us online for worship each week.
Let me close with St Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 that speak to us in a fresh way in these ‘COVID days’.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
Soli Deo Gloria – All Glory to God!
Peace in Christ, Pastor Tom Rhodes
We are located at 600 East Aldrich Road, across from Southwest Baptist University and about 2 blocks west of Springfield Avenue (Hwy 83). Church office hours can vary for our administrative assistant. Please call in advance of visiting to ensure the office is staffed.
Zion Lutheran Church
600 East Aldrich Road
Bolivar, Missouri 65613
(Mailing Address: PO Box 5, Bolivar, MO 65613)