We all remember times of crisis in our lives. You might remember where you were during the terrorist attacks on 9-11. Maybe you went through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina with the rest of us. Those memories are still vivid in my mind.
Well, we are going through a national crisis right now like one we’ve never experienced in our lifetime as a nation. Fortunately, we’ve got a chance to be ahead of it this time, rather than just reeling in the aftermath.
If we make wise decisions and remain calm and positive, we will see this thing through together, with as little collateral damage as possible.
Our sincere prayers are with all those who have been directly affected by this aggressive virus. But the truth is that every American is a victim in one way or another. Maybe you are a First Responder putting yourself in harm’s way to keep others safe, or you could be in the medical field working long hours and risking your own health to make sure that nobody dies on your watch.
Maybe you’ve lost your job, you might be a student who can’t return to school, or you may have had an important event stolen away from you like a vacation, a prom, or even a wedding; you might be a business owner who is wondering how you are going to make it, through closures and loss of customers. I want you to know that our prayers are with you also.
The after-effects of this global pandemic and national crisis will be felt for years to come – in our economy, in our social habits, from the way we travel, to the way we conduct business.
Churches are also entering unchartered territory as we explore new ways to gather together and worship God. King David wrote in Psalm 122, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.'” Hey, y’all, it’s no secret that I love church. I always have. There’s something about worshipping God with my spiritual family that energizes me and restores my soul like nothing else.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Did you know, there are countless Christians in the world who risk their lives every time they attend church where they live? It’s a crime punishable by death. So, they have to go in secret with the threat of being captured, beaten, and even killed.
And while I would never suggest that we bow to any anti-Christian pressure to avoid gathering together as a church, I also recognize that the enemy we are facing today is not a political one, but a medical one. And we have the responsibility to protect our loved ones and be an example to those around us.
The decisions we’ve had to make recently at New Horizon Church have been extremely difficult. But the safety of our families, children, church members, and community are our top priority. We don't want to panic; but we must take precautions. We need to listen to medical experts and make good common-sense decisions.
So, out of an abundance of caution and compassion, we are moving to online services for the time being at our normal service times on Sunday mornings at 9 & 11 am. After that, they will be available to watch anytime On-Demand.
We will have worship and a Bible lesson for the children as well as a full worship set and message for the adults. As always, we will provide a downloadable message outline for taking notes and for deeper study later on.
And remember this, "The church isn't closed, just our building is." The church has never been dependent on a physical building to define it or contain it. In fact, Christ said, "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am among you."
Let’s thank God we have the miracle of media technology that allows us to join with our families or small groups, and worship God together. You can find our service on our website at NewHorizonFamily.com and we’re doing everything we can to ensure that your online experience makes you feel like you are right there in the worship center with us.
Finally, please remember to remain faithful in your financial support of the church with your tithes and offerings. The wheels of ministry keep turning even if we aren’t all together at one place. You can mail your offering in or give online. You can even text to give if you wish, and I know that God will honor your faith and generosity.
We may not be together physically, but we can certainly be together spiritually. God is bigger than this crisis and He will deliver us from it. 2 Corinthians 1:10 tells us, “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.”
Our prayer is that we will all be able to gather together again as a church family by Easter Sunday. We’ll keep you updated as that time approaches. In the meantime, I’ll be continuing our Easter message series entitled, Red Letter – as we examine the identity of Jesus Christ from his own words. This series is sure to bring you some much needed encouragement. Please join us online.
I want to leave you with a reminder from the Apostle Paul found in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”