For the past year, our team has been working diligently for the launch of Mid City Church and about 5 months ago, we identified March 15 as our launch date. We prayed about it, we prepared for it and we got very excited about it.
Unfortunately, sometimes our plans don’t unfold like we want them to. (In my mind, I prepared for every possible scenario that could deter our launch date, but never did I think about a possible pandemic).
Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing our launch for Mid City Church and we will give more information as soon as we have those details. We will be praying, we will be monitoring the situation and we will make a decision that is best, not just for the church, but for our community as well.
In the meantime, our main campus (First United Methodist Church) will have an online worship opportunity that you can join at 9:45am. Simply click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4sqfZ7i_2rssx9HIiVaF7g
Things will be different for a while. But I know that we will make it through this.
Today, I am reminded of the story of Job in the bible. His world around him fell apart, his health was not good, and he had lost everything he had. He even self-quarantines himself with his closest friends. In the midst of all this pain and confusion he begins to ask a bunch of questions trying to understand what is happening.
I don’t know about you, but I have been trying to make sense of this as well by asking a lot of questions. How did this get to where it is? Is this really happening? How worried should we actually be? What can I do? And why are we running out of toilet paper?
Throughout the story, Job wrestles with God as he tries to make sense of everything that is happening and at the end, he hears God say these very powerful words:
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth…
Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.”
This is just a small portion of a long dialogue that God has with Job where he is basically asking Job if he has ever commanded the earth and everything in it. For a long time, this portion of the bible felt like a very harsh response to a hurting person. But in the midst of today’s world events, I have come to find comfort in these words.
See, no matter how difficult things may get on the global stage, or with the pandemic, or even the stock market, God is still in control. No matter how bad things may seem, God is always in control. The same God who created the heavens and the earth, the same God who parts waters, who moves mountains, who put everything into motion, is the same God who is in control today. And as Christians we are called to put our trust in that same God.
Today, I find myself sad, upset, confused and worried all at the same time. I wish we were getting ready to launch Mid City Church tomorrow. I wish we didn’t find ourselves having to come up with a “plan b”. I wish I was in control of this whole situation. But in the midst of all of this, I find comfort in knowing that God is in control. And God will do a way better job of being in control than I can.
I am choosing to trust God and I invite you to do the same. Obviously, let us be smart in everything we do, but let us also put our trust in God. Afterall, there is no better place to put our trust in than God.
With that said, on Monday our team will sit down and begin to work on next steps and how we will get there. But in the meantime, we will still continue to be the church, even if it looks a little different.
Our small groups will still be gathering. Keep in touch with your small group leaders as we continue to find safe ways for you to gather in community and continue to grow in your faith. We are also looking at different ways that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. With the new school closure announcements, students will need food, parents will need affordable childcare, and there will still be needs in our community that we need to help meet. Our team will be working in the coming days to think of ways we can meet those needs and if you have any ideas, please feel free to try something new with your friends and small groups.
Perhaps you can put food bags together for families who cannot afford to stock up their pantry. You can put money together to buy gift cards for people to get the supplies they need. You can help put a plan together for parents who need to work but have nowhere for their kids to go. You get the idea…
Just because we won’t be launching worship this Sunday does not mean we get stop being the church. Let’s put our heads together and continue to make a difference in the world around us. Let us bring about the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven, even if we are not worshipping every week, JUST YET.
Together on the journey,