The Pandemic is experienced in a variety of ways. It brings joy, risk, and sorrow, but not in equal measure to all.
Believe it or not, the pandemic does bring some joys. I have heard celebrities like Arod and JLO opine that they are grateful they have more time with their children than ever before. They are representative of a pretty large group. My son who has been working at home with his children for over a month told me the same thing. Contrast that with families with two or three or four or more small children, cooped up in a small space. There are moments of joy for them, too, but some parents, or so I hear, are struggling to keep things creative, or sane. Imagine what it has been like in Spain where children have been kept indoors for six weeks. Then there is the problem of childcare. A single parent has an essential job and needs the money, so they have to go to work. Or a couple, have essential jobs, and children who need them, and no access to child care. How are they coping? Then there is the risk factor. People like me are at higher risk because of our age and pre-existing conditions; but some of us can stay home, in relative safety, others can’t. (Please go to page 2 below.)
For as long as I can remember, on the first Sunday of the year, I have drawn a text for the New Year. When I was too young to do it myself, or when I was away at school, or in service, my mother would draw it for me. At Fries we keep a basket of texts left over from New Year’s sitting in the small vestibule that is between the hall on the main floor and the sanctuary. One Sunday when I was emotionally taxed, I did not wait for a new year. I drew an extra text. I read it, took comfort from it, and tucked it away in my billfold. Eventually, it was taken out of my billfold and stuffed in a desk drawer. Just this week, when I was again emotionally taxed, I rediscovered it. I know it is for me. Perhaps it is for you, too. In Isaiah 43:16 we read:
The Lord makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters.
It is a reference to God’s deliverance of Israel at the Yom Suph (Reed Sea/Red Sea) during the nation’s exodus from Egypt. The people were trapped between the water and the armies of Pharaoh, and God made a way for them in the midst of the sea. The text refers to that event, but it is in the present tense. Even now, when we need it, “the Lord makes a way.” Will we let him? Often it requires our cooperation. A wise man once said, “Without God, we cannot; without us, God will not.”
Prayer: O, Lord, in these difficult times, make a way for us, as individuals, as a church, as a nation, as the people of your pasture. We belong to you. Our lives are hid with Christ in you. Nevertheless, you call upon us to live in this world. May each of us do that not to the best of our abilities, but to the best of your abilities. Help us O Lord, and help us to receive the help. Amen.
These videos are published for the members of Fries Memorial Moravian Church. This pastor never wanted to be a YouTube preacher, however these unusual times lead us along paths that we have not traveled before. God bless you! Stay safe! Pray for those who are infected and affected by the pandemic. Pray for those who labor on our behalf. Click here to watch the video.
The Moravian Confession of 1535 is worth our time. Its preface was written by none other than Doctor Martin Luther. It has been posted on-line by the Moravian Archives and can be found in its entirety here. This morning I had occasion to read the section on “Christ the Lord and Faith in Him.” I found it well stated, informative, and challenging. I though you might profit by it, too.
I am praying for you, our church, our city, our state, our nation, and our world. “O Lord, give us the victory over the Corvid 19 Virus, and give it quickly. Spare those who are already infected. Comfort those who have already suffered loss.”
Article 6:Christ the Lord and Faith in Him
First of all, they teach that one should have a sure and firm faith about Christ the Lord, namely that He is by nature true God and at the same time is a human being, through whom all things were made in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. John, calling Him the eternal Word, explains that God is light, and that the only-begotten Son dwells in the bosom of the Father, full of grace and truth [John 1:1, 4, 18, 14]. He says the same in the fifth chapter of his first epistle [1 John 5:20]: “He is the true God and eternal life.” And they teach in like manner concerning the works He did for our salvation: His incarnation and birth, His suffering, death, and burial, His resurrection and ascension into heaven, and His sitting at the right hand of the Father, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. Also, as the secrets of Scripture have it, good works proceed and come forth in us for salvation through the word and sacraments. (Please Go to page 2 below)
Drive Thru Communion this Sunday, July 12 10:30am-11:30am. Bring your own bread and grape juice.
-Also collecting for Sunnyside Ministry and Prison Ministry (see Upcoming Events).
All Events Canceled
Out of an abundance of caution, Fries Memorial has decided to suspend worship services and other large gatherings until further notice. The PEC has strongly encouraged this decision with the health and well-being of our members and the wider community in mind.
We all continue to watch and to pray for those around the world who are being impacted by the spread of COVID-19. We pray for those infected, the families of those who have lost their lives, those providing care and relief, and those making important decisions
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