Our Response to COVID-19

 

Hello First Baptist Tijeras Church Family,

I know this has been a very hard week on all of us, and as I sit here in my office and look out the window, I see a steady stream of cars go by on the roads and it makes me wonder. I know that this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. As believers, we are able to rejoice in the Lord, we rejoice in knowing that our God is with us through it all. We are at the beginning of a very different time in our lives. No one knows what each day will bring, but that has always been true. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but we know that God has always been in control. God is not surprised or caught off guard by this pandemic. He is our ever-present help. He was preparing us for this day before it ever arrived.  Jeremiah 29:11 says (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) So, the question is how do we respond? What do we do as the church? Since I’ve never pastored a church before during a pandemic, and many of you have also never seen anything like this before we will figure this out together! I am praying for each of you daily. I know we can start by being patient with one another, offer words of encouragement to each other and do what we can to care for those who are most at risk during this time. Each decision our church makes will have an impact. We need to start by showing love to those around us, show your love from a distance, I witnessed this first hand as several came on Wednesday and packed bags of food for the school kids that might need it. You can pick up a phone and check on someone, send an encouraging email, but whatever you do, do something. So now let’s talk about the implications for the church and how to help in the days ahead. We have been asked by our leaders to not gather in crowds and I respect the reasons behind it, but I also believe that this is a time to stand strong in our faith. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong”.) I believe we all need to act with caution but we also need to act with faith not fear Isaiah 41:10 (“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”) This is the time for the Church to love well and create peace not panic.

 I have felt Satan’s attack this week in many ways, and as I have thought of how to handle this crisis, I feel his attack even more. Through much prayer and counsel, the elders and myself have decided to keep First Baptist Church Tijeras open on Sunday but in a different format. I would like to tell you that this decision is not being made out of anything other than faith and love. Here is how Sunday will work, we will not be having our Life Connection and Bible study classes, children’s Sunday school and children’s church will be cancelled. I will being do a sermon at regular time and we will continue our lead up to Easter of Gods Plan, and will be in Exodus 12:12-13, that will be on a podcast and hopefully live feed, but I am asking and encouraging each of you to enjoy the service with loved ones at home. But if you feel the need to be there please use your best judgement, if you are sick in any way or are at high risk or even just uncomfortable, please, please stay home, the elders and myself care very much for your safety and do not want to put anyone in harm’s way, its ok to miss, I truly believe this church is full of very Godly people and of strong faith, and in no way does missing a service change that, you can listen to the service or watch the service on line on our Facebook page, or if you would like a cd of the service I will delivery it personally. I would just ask this, that you show your strength in faith by constant prayer for our church, community, country and the world.  I would also encourage all of us to respect and honor any one’s decision, as we must show love for one another more than ever before, remember to love one another is Jesus’s command. I urge you all to remember God is in control and He will get us past this, we just need to trust in Him and stay together. As always, feel free to call me if you need anything, I love all of you and hope to see you soon.

In His Love,

Pastor Alan

 

 
 

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