March 25, 2021
Dear Members and Friends,
We are now poised to enter what is known as Holy Week. For the believer every week should be holy, but this time in particular is an opportunity to reflect carefully on the great fact of our redemption. This year Holy week coincides precisely with the Jewish feast of Passover. Saturday evening the 27th of March is the first night of Passover, and Easter Sunday evening concludes the feast. This should compel us to think about the connection between the institution of Passover, and its intimate connection to the work of Jesus on the cross. He is the slaughtered “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John the Baptist told us that at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, and Jesus Himself referred to it on the night in which He was betrayed. Using the very elements of the Passover meal, bread and wine, He told us these were His Body and Blood to be given for the forgiveness of our sins. We are part of the “many” He refers to in the Gospels as the beneficiaries of His saving work.
During this special time we should first of all make sure we are individually part of the “many” who have put their trust in a crucified Saviour. But we should also recall that He is now gloriously alive, rules the universe, and has promised to return and bring true justice and peace to our disordered and increasingly chaotic world. I remember Nancy Cimprich, our Missions Chairperson, saying that in Kenya she observed that the darkness of sin was glaringly obvious, but by contrast, the light of God reflected in His people was “so very light.” This Easter season is bringing us to something resembling that here in America. The waning of the pandemic is not bringing us to peace and order, but a deepening sense of worldwide crisis. But this glaring contrast between sin and holiness was woven into the culture of the 1st century Roman world as well. The early Christians became known, however, as those who courageously stood against the corruptions of paganism, but at the same time never stopped trying to love the world in the way their Lord did. They frequently paid for that with their lives, as we have been hearing in our Sunday School classes. But somehow their sacrificial witness does not seem tinged with despair, bitterness and hatred, but rather a joyful surrender to God. Will we 21st century Christian believers in the West ever be asked to face this level of persecution? I have no way of knowing. I do see clearly though, our society is embracing a secular worldview that is violently opposed to everything we hold dear. My prayer for all of us is that we will be given wisdom and discernment to know where the battle is hottest, and face it clothed in the full armour of God. If by His grace we can do that, then we will have lived lives worthy of our calling.
Worship Protocol for Congregants
What to Expect
- No Children’s Sunday School or Nursery will be provided until further notice.
- Elders continue to urge those who are reluctant, sick or especially vulnerable to worship in electronic unison from their homes.
- The church sexton will thoroughly clean the Sanctuary on Friday and Saturday as customary while wearing gloves and mask. All commonly touched surfaces- pew tops, door handles and toilet room surfaces- will be wiped with disinfectant.
- In consideration for others and for your own protection; all are requested to wear masks while entering and exiting the Sanctuary, maintain six feet of distance to other non-family attendees and refrain from hugs, handshakes and similar physical contact.
- In order to facilitate social distancing guidelines, every other pew will be marked “Please, No Seating This Pew”. In addition, pews available for seating will be marked “Please, No Seating this Side” on alternating ends in order to maximize the distance between attending worshipers. Latecomers may be ushered to available seating, which may include choir pews or opposite ends of occupied pews.