Sunday Services during March
Written by Jol on Mar 13, 2020
Service this Sunday will be online at Jol Klein’s Facebook and Cross Point’s Facebook @ 11 am.
Dear Cross Point Family,
Over the last 24 hours we have seen a flurry of activity. Many school districts have closed for the next week. Out of an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community, as of Sunday, March 15, all Cross Point worship gatherings will be moved online until further notice. We will make decisions about any future gatherings dependent on what is decided by the school system. Please plan to worship online this Sunday Facebook live at 11 am, and invite others to join us, as well.
We will be discussing what we are doing as a church internationally in missions. In addition, we will share important information about countless opportunities we have as a church to make God’s love known in our city. Needless to say, you don’t want to miss this Sunday!
For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
Why make this change now?
Our goal in these decisions, as in everything we do, is to glorify God as biblically and wisely as possible. By God’s design according to God’s Word, the church thrives on gathering together face-to-face as we love one another, care for one another, and encourage one another by doing things like singing, praying and hearing the Word proclaimed. As much as we are thankful for technology that allows for us to do many of these things online, a biblical picture of a church prioritizes being together in person. This is why Christians around the world gather together every single Sunday at the risk of their lives. If they are caught, they will be persecuted, potentially imprisoned, and possibly even killed. But it’s worth it to them because this is what it means to be the church. These brothers and sisters in Christ have much to teach us about the value of physically being together as a church family.
At the same time, the reasons above concerning why we normally gather in person are the same reasons why we are choosing not to gather in person right now. Because the Bible calls us to care for one another and love one another (and all our neighbors) as ourselves, we believe the best way we can do that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is by not gathering in person.
We believe the best way we can love our neighbors as ourselves in this unique time is to participate in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing (defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”).
This does not mean, however, that we are closing the activities of the church. Quite the opposite is true. This is a time for us to be the church like never before! Continue reading below and listen online Sunday for more information about how we are going to work to glorify God as His church during these days.
HOW SHOULD I RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
We as a church want to respond to the physical needs of others also. If you know of anyone that is in need of food or clothing or any other basic need, please let us know. We want to minister to them in this time, just as in any other time of life.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
• Trust in God as the good and sovereign Creator and Sustainer of life upon whom we all depend.
• Pray for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials.
• Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.
• Avoid every semblance of prejudice or racism. In light of the origination of this virus in Asia, it has been grievous to see a rise in racist incidents against the Asian community. Much of our church family (and much of our city) is Asian-American, and we want every Asian-American (as well as Asians around the world) to feel and know the love of Christ. So just as we do in any circumstance, guard against all prejudice or racism in your thoughts, your words, and your actions.
• Even if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the church family. Gather with smaller groups as appropriate, and participate in worship gatherings online if that’s the only option.
• Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online HERE, or by mail (PO Box 62, Wamego, KS 66547) so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
• Reflect often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.
Cross Point Elders
I’m writing this at the end of a very eventful Wednesday evening. Over the course of just a few hours, the response to the Coronavirus crisis has increased dramatically.
The World Health Organization officially designated COVID-19 as a pandemic. The NBA announced they are suspending their season. President Trump suspended all flights in and out of Europe for 30 days. Dr. Al Mohler announced that all classes at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will finish the semester in an online-only format. Actor Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia. Earlier today, the first presumed cases appeared in New Mexico. In the community I serve, the popular Bataan Memorial Death March, expected to draw 10,000 participants to our community of 35,000 people, was canceled over health concerns.
There is much cause for concern. Government and organization leaders are wrestling with how, exactly, they should respond. Pastors and ministry leaders are doing the same. In these days of uncertainty, we must be united in praying for wisdom for our leaders as they navigate the range of responses.
You probably have people in your congregation who are worried. Many of you are serving in states and cities that are being directly affected. Some of the readers of this blog may have church members who have contracted the virus. Our nation and, in fact, the whole world seems to be on the brink of an all-out panic.
During times like these, communities and churches will look to spiritual leaders for guidance. Not unlike a church on the verge of death, our responses must be firm, loving and, above all, staunchly biblical.
As replant pastors, you and I deal with fear on a daily basis. We shepherd people who are afraid of losing their church. Perhaps they are even more afraid of their church changing beyond recognition. Maybe you worry that one more contentious business meeting will mean the end of your ministry in your church. They – and you – may be on the verge of panic.
For the follower of Christ, there is no room in our worldview for panic. This world is not our home. Our hope lies not in government leaders, in sports teams, in good health, or in the stock market. Our hope lies in a Man from Galilee who defeated sin and death once for all when He stepped out of a borrowed tomb nearly 2,000 years ago.
Jesus knew that we would be tempted to worry (dare I say, even panic?) in this life. Thankfully, Matthew records Jesus’ words for us that are so appropriate for such a time as this.
Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34, CSB)
So, pastor, instead of panic, lead your people in praise. Instead of worry, lead them to worship. Focus your attention – and theirs – on the empty tomb where Jesus defeated the real enemy once and for all.
And, just for good measure, sing songs like “In Christ Alone” by the Gettys as a simple reminder that our hope, ultimately, is in Jesus Christ, the Great Physician.
I’m praying that you’ll have wisdom as you help your churches and communities navigate through these choppy waters. Love them and lead them well in these days.