Cedar Grove family and friends,
“We are living in unprecedented times”…that phrase has been used a lot frequently. We certainly don’t disagree, however, these are not the only unprecedented times that have ever been. Consider the “Black Plague” and “Holocaust”, some of which come to mind. We recall another unprecedented time that has a much better connotation…the first century church. During that time a radical, Jesus, taught His disciples an idea that we could worship God anywhere as long as it was done in spirit and truth (John 4:21-24). He then encouraged them to go to the whole world, spreading that message. That is just what they did, and in doing so turned the whole world upside down. This was done amidst fierce persecution. Today we face a new challenge, the coronavirus. Our nation’s leaders are asking us to cooperate with their efforts not to spread this virus. Some of the requests are to reconsider all nonessential travel and to not gather in groups of 10 or more. Romans 13:1-3 has some strong words considering submitting to and rejecting governing authorities. Acts 5:29 tells us we must obey God rather than man. So, considering what our governing authorities are asking, the Word of God, and the severity of the virus, this is what we have decided at this time, and until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will adjust as new information comes in.
These decisions were not made lightly. We knew that whatever decision we made would be greeted with supporters and detractors. “Where is your concern with health safety?” “Where is your faith?” Our concern for health safety is that we are choosing not to gather corporately at the building. Our faith is that we believe the church can shine brighter than it ever has. To help you understand our mindset consider the scene from Apollo 13. One actor says “it will be the worst disaster N.A.S.A has experienced” to which another responds with, “With all due respect sir, I believe this going to be our finest hour”. Your leadership believes that this will be Cedar Grove and the Kingdom of God’s finest hour.
For this to be the case, all of the members of the body must do their part. Remembering that the church is the people and not a building. The first century church met at the Temple (Acts 2:42-47) until that was no longer possible (because of persecution, which is not the case now). Then they continued to meet from house to house. That is what you need to do now. Use technology and small groups to reach out to each other. Be the Church.
We would like to close with this quote from A.W. Tozer. “A scared world needs a fearless church”. Yes, be smart and use your common sense, but remember God is in control. Uncertainties abound, and likewise, opportunities, to show our faith and confidence in our Lord.
In spirit and truth,
your Cedar Grove leadership