From the Heart of Pastor Bill
I am so blessed to be in ministry with you at Medina Church. I can’t believe that it’s been almost 18 years since I became your pastor!
A lot of wonderful things have happened over those years. And thankfully, our church continues to be both physically and spiritually healthy despite COVID-19.
When we were first hit with COVID-19 just 24 weeks ago, we rose to the challenge, and together, we responded to this threat. We handled it to the best of our ability with the information we were given.
Initially, we did what was recommended, which was to shut down our services and stop assembling together. We responded to this problem proactively. Among other things, we initiated the “live-feed” of our service so everyone could watch online. As you will remember, at that time it was everyone’s goal to “flatten the curve.” We did our part to make that happen.
Unfortunately, during these past months, our government “experts” and the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) have repeatedly proven to be inaccurate, and undependable sources of both information and recommendations.
For example, first, they told us that masks don’t help, then they changed their mind and insisted that we wear masks. Similarly, their initial projections and their reports of the death rate were alarming, now we see that the actual numbers are much lower; still a concern, of course, but not the emergency that was first reported. The CDC now acknowledges that only 6% of the reported COVID-19 deaths can actually be attributed to the virus.1 Therefore, the actual death rate is significantly lower than the 180,000 people the news media was reporting.
To put this in perspective, the CDC estimated that the death rate for the 2019-2020 seasonal flu to be between 24,000 and 62,000. 2 Of course, we grieve for the lives lost to COVID-19 and other causes of death over this past year. Our prayers go out for these families and friends.
Nevertheless, we need to acknowledge that with physical life, comes physical death. At some point, our life on this earth will end. (Fortunately, for those who have accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation, death is not the end of the story.)
While it is irresponsible to live in such a way as to end our life prematurely, at this point, in my opinion, we need to realize that we have been operating on false information. It is time for us to get back to living life. This includes, in fact, especially includes, attending church.
We need to be prudent and take precautions, but we cannot live in fear. Here in the Great State of Texas, every day, 10 people die in car accidents. While tragic, we are still willing to drive our car.
Why is church attendance any different? There are risks to everything we do in life, but we can’t let these fears control how we live our life. Fear is placing your faith in the “What-ifs.”
For us, this means, it’s time for us to get back to church.
The writer of Hebrews writes, “… and let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
For us here at MUMC, it is time for us to come together again.
Of course, let’s use our God-given common sense in how we do it. If you feel sick, or if you have serious underlining health issues, then stay home. But let’s not live in FEAR!
As II Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.”
I’m reminded of the Bill Gather song, “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow.” The lyrics remind us, “Because He Lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the Living, just because He lives.”
Let’s embrace the Apostle Paul’s injunction that he so clearly stated in Hebrews 10:24-25. It is our duty to God that we assemble as a church community. It’s time for us to LIVE life fully, and FEARLESSLY.
I hope to see you at church this coming Sunday!
We have been blessed by God, that He has given us the honor of serving Him in a time such as this.
With love from your pastor,