Dear family and friends of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vernon, B.C.
Every day there are increasing reports in the news of people contracting the Covid 19 virus and
the growing list of people dying from the virus. As fear spreads around the world, what should
the response be of the Child of God? Let’s keep in mind these words of our God for times like
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” (Psalm 46:1-2). We have no need to fear even though the world falls apart around us because God is our refuge and strength. He is always present with us in every trouble. So the current situation with the corona virus is an opportunity to exercise and express our faith by trusting in Him and not being afraid.
God also urges us "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJ). It is truly amazing how God is able to humble the world through such an insignificant thing as a single cell organism so small that you can’t see it with the naked eye. He is giving a powerful reminder of how frail and fragile our life really is. The response God is looking for is not fear, but that we humble ourselves under God’s hand. It is a call to repentance and faith, knowing that our only hope and help are in the Lord. Every disease is an effect of sin on mankind and so an outbreak of disease should be a vivid reminder of our sinfulness and our need for God’s grace and forgiveness. We know that we have that forgiveness in Christ and therefore we can confess our sins without fear.
This is also a time to remember Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” One of our CLC Pastors put it this way:
"During persecution, Christians defy government regulations in order to gather out of love for God and neighbor. We obey God, not government.
During pandemics, Christians obey government regulations by not gathering out of love for God and neighbor. We obey God, by obeying the government."
Therefore, with the increasing warnings and encouragement from our government for everyone to stay at home and not to gather together with others, our voters have decided to suspend our joint worship services for the time being and conduct all our worship services online. At times like this it becomes all the more important to continue in God’s word and worship, therefore we urge you all to stay in your homes and join us as we gather around the word and worship with us online.
To make that easier for everyone, we have embedded a video player right on our web site. You do not need a Facebook account to view it. Simply watch right here on our web site. Or you can continue to watch on Facebook as usual. We will be worshiping on Thursday evening at 7:00 for the rest of Lent and on Sunday mornings at 10:00.
We pray that you will all be safe and healthy at home and in God’s protecting hands and that you will continue to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
In our Savior’s precious name,
Your Pastor, David Reim