The View From Here

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Words for Now

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This isn't the first time..  Pandemics, plagues and viruses have hit before.  It might be new to us, but followers of Jesus have walked through this trial ahead of us.  How did they respond?  What did their faith in God look like in these circumstances?  

Around 500 years ago, Martin Luther experience the plague called, "The Black Death."  Martin Luther described his response to the threat and the need of that situation.  He answered the question, "Should I flee from a deadly plague?" 

"I shall ask god to mercifully protect us.  Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it.  I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.  If God should will to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me, and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.  If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above.  See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy, and does not tempt God." (from Luther's Works, Vol. 43, pg. 132 - "Whether one may flee from a deadly plague""

This quote has been forwarded, texted and posted a lot in the last couple weeks.  Why is it so appealing?  Because it reminds us that this experience is not new.  If Christians found God trustworthy in times like these before, then so can we.  There is nothing too difficult for our God, and with our God, we can walk through this storm.

Finally, note the three things Luther is doing:

  1. He does the practical things to avoid sickness for himself and for others, just as we are with cleanliness, social distancing and staying out of the way.  He is looking out for himself and for others.
  2. "If God should take me..."  He fears God more than the disease.
  3. Because he fears God more, he places the needs of others above self.  His reaction to the disease is not hoarding supplies and becoming a hermit.  He "freely" goes to help his neighbor when the need arises.

Who is your neighbor?  Listen to the Holy Spirit who is both our comforter and and teacher.  Respect the authorities who are working to slow the spread of this virus, yet follow the Lord's lead and reach out to those who are alone and in need.  Look out for your neighbors.  This is how we Love God and Love Others. 

Like never before, we have an open door to share the love and Good News of Jesus Christ.

 

Posted by Joshua Holland with

No Church Sunday???

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By now, you have heard that we are not holding regular Sunday morning worship services here at Mountain View, starting this Sunday, March 15th.  I want to take a moment and let you know the reasoning and thought process behind this decision. 

First, the decision was the result of many conversations and prayer.  It was a unanimous decision of the pastoral staff, elders and deacons.  We are not reacting out of fear, but being proactive.  We want to care for those in our church whose lives would be put in danger by the COVID-19 virus.

Second, the disease is spreading.  We want to be a part of slowing this down so our medical resources (hospitals, clinics and staff) aren't overwhelmed by the number of people needing care.  Closing down our building for Sunday services and other weekly events will prevent some from being exposed to the virus.  We believe that this is a way to show the love of Christ to our own and to our community.  

Remember, this building is not the church.  The church is you and the church is where you are. So what should the church (all of us) be doing right now?

  1. Pray - Ask the Lord to intervene.  He has the power to stop this virus in its tracks.  Cast your cares on Him, and thank Him in advance for what He will do.
  2. Connect - Call on people to see how they are doing.  We live in an amazing age of internet and cell phones.  Reach out.  Remind people that they are loved and that God is in control.
  3. Share - Listen as people express their worries and fears.  You have the Worry Vaccine, which is Jesus Christ.  Be ready to share the reason for the hope that you have (1 Pet. 3:15). 

We will be broadcasting a Sunday morning message at 8:30 and 11:00 through our live-stream page.  Please take advantage of worshiping with us in this "virtual-church setting."  This is just for the short term.  

The church office hours are not changing.  We are not going anywhere!  

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