Keynotes – April, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Wow! Would you have believed someone six months ago if they claimed we would be shut-down like this? Holy Week with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter sure aren’t going to be the same this year. I was working on the bulletins for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday today and trying to imagine how we reproduce the emotions that arise in these services over the internet. Maundy Thursday without communion? Good Friday without extinguishing the lights? Be sure to watch for our emails with the audio files or go to Youtube.com and search for GraceLCHayward for the video version to see how this turns out.

Last week I changed the sign at St. Peter’s to “Be still, and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10 It was interesting to have a discussion with a regular neighborhood visitor who said the message “was, was, was, disturbing.” I told him that some people see it that way while others see it as comforting. “It’s not too comforting yet” was his response. I had the opportunity to tell him that we can also see it as God saying, “Calm down; be still; I’ve got this.” He wasn’t ready for that. Are you? With all that God is accomplishing through this situation we can be more confident than ever we see Him at work.

I was reading through Luke recently and hit “The Kingdom of God is near you.” Luke 10:9 God and His Kingdom have arrived! You are a part of that Kingdom and we all have the joy to share God’s love. Sometimes, like this current pandemic, things don’t look so good. It didn’t look good when God sent His Children into Babylon either. But God was at work to draw His people back. Sometimes it takes drastic action to accomplish His will. I find it particularly interesting that this is coming to a climax during Lent. Let’s do some self examination, repentance, and turn our hearts and lives fully to the work of the Lord and watch as He accomplishes miracles beyond what we have ever seen.

You heard me on Sunday repeat an example from the story of “The Little Engine that could.” You remember, “I think I can. I think I can…” Pastor Lange added a great touch for me. “God isn’t looking for little engines who say ‘I think I can’ He’s looking for little engines who say…’I can’t.’ Are we ready to repent and turn to God for His forgiveness? Do we need to be in control?

May God bless us as we look to Him this Lenten Season.

Pastor Oatman