I was surprised last Sunday to enter the church and find your smiling faces looking back at me. No, it wasn’t a dream – someone had made black and white life-sized cut outs of your heads. I was so glad to see you. It was a thoughtful blessing, and you all looked great! That said, it also made me miss you and wonder when we’ll be in actual fellowship again.
From what I understand, Governor Inslee plans to allow groups under fifty to start gathering after June 15. This of course is subject to change, and we’ll have to make some adjustments to our regular activities – but it’s good to have something to look forward to. Let’s keep in prayer that all things will progress according to the Lord’s will.
With that in mind, I am hopeful that things will not go back to the way they were – but that through all this we will have changed in Christ. Personally, since the beginning of isolation I’ve grown in appreciation for the psalmist’s exhortation in Psalm 95:6 to, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker…” I’ve come to treasure, even more, the wonders of worshiping the Lord collectively. It can’t be replicated – as it moves us, through mutual encouragement, toward greater faith (Hebrews 10:24).
That said, I have also talked with people outside our usual fellowship that have joined us online during this time – and others who expressed a desire to gather with us when we return public assemblies. These are trying times, but, as Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It can be hard to have faith in dark times, but it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate what we value most. With that in mind, I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Because of Christ,
Gunnar began serving as pastor at First Baptist Church, Elma in July 2012. He and his wife Corrine – and their three children Trinity, Eli, and Ian moved to Washington with a vision to help build a vibrant community of people who know the truth of God’s love for them in Christ, and express that love as they gather, and go out into the world. A veteran of youth, college, and young adult ministries for almost twenty years – Gunnar enjoys being in God’s Word, obsessing over sports, and spending time outdoors with his family.