Dear PBC family,
Christians should never be motivated by fear, not when we serve the Sovereign
Lord of the Universe. But there’s a crucial difference between fear and prudence, and in
this case love for our neighbors compels us to join our nation’s extraordinary efforts to
minimize contact between people in order to slow the spread of this virus and “flatten
the curve” of the pandemic. It is important to remember, before we consider anything
else, that government counsels and advisories, etc. under these circumstances are not
religious persecution as such. They may not be welcome, and we may be instinctively
and strongly averse to them, but we should not put them, at this time and under these
circumstances, in the wrong category. The governments of the world are, by and large,
doing what they ought to be doing as ‘good’ governors, seeking to take care of those
entrusted to their oversight.
With this in mind, we will not meet (cancelling church service) for the next 3
Sundays – March 22, 29 and April 5. We are not cancelling our services because we
ourselves, as Christians, are afraid to get sick or even afraid to die. God forbid! “To live
is Christ, and to die is gain.” Rather, we are cancelling because we believe it is
imperative for us to be a part of our society’s response to this virus that, at best, will be
serious for the most vulnerable, and, at worst, could put even more people at risk by
creating a severe and sudden spike in demand on our health care system.
We also want to provide a good witness to our neighbors, family and those who
know us and not give them a reason to use our public gathering as an excuse to ridicule
and/or second guess the God we serve. We must therefore avoid giving the impression
that we are creating or exacerbating (even deliberately) an otherwise avoidable
problem. What a great time to be devoted to reading His word, remembering His
promises and help those who are needy. Let us continue to trust in Him! So, don’t be afraid or fearful, brothers and sisters. Join me in praying; let us knock on heaven’s door and plead with the Lord of Heaven to provide the needed relief so that we would be able to meet as a church on Sunday, April 12, Resurrection Sunday. Let us give ourselves to serious prayer so that, in His providence, we would be able to come together in His name and for His glory and offer Him the fruit of our lips, a sacrifice of praise.
Let me urge you to join us on Facebook Live each Sunday morning at
10:30am. To join us please do the following:
At 10:30 a.m., log onto your Facebook account and go to facebook.com/pinesbaptistchurch.
A video will pop up when Pastor Luis goes live. If not, refresh the page.
Here, you can choose to make the video full screen at the bottom right where it says "Click to enter full screen".
Should you have any questions please contact the church office.
Lastly, we need you to remain faithful with your financial support. Ministry
continues to happen; missionaries need our support and the work of our church will not
stop. Please use the online giving feature on our website (www.pinesbaptistchurch.org)
or contact the church office and speak with Katherine about the options available when
it comes to giving. In the coming days, we will continue to provide updates to keep you
informed about anything new in the life of our church. Also, please contact the church
office should you be in need – financially, spiritually, health. Please keep us informed
about your well-being and if there’s a change to your health.
As your pastor, I encourage you to walk by faith during these difficult days. Draw
close to the Lord. Please remember that social distance from the saints is not
necessarily spiritual distance from God. And may this time of separation from one
another impress upon us who have become too accustomed to our privileges and too
presumptuous concerning our blessings, that there is nothing on this side of heaven
more like the heaven to come than the saints of God gathered in His presence on His
day to worship His Name. May days in which spiritual scraps may become the food of
our souls teach us to crave the banquets with which once we toyed! May enforced
absences teach us the blessing and beauty of the church as she gathers before her
God! May it stir up in us, and in many more, an appetite for God and for His Word which
shall never leave us, as long as we are left in this world.
Yours in Christ,