Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Psalm 13 says, “How long O Lord?” This is the question that many of us are asking—how long do we have to stay home and stay apart? This is a challenging time of isolation. We miss being together as a congregation, and we are anxious with the uncertainty of how long this will last. This is a time of lament. It is a time of waiting. It is a time of uncertainty. But it is also a time of opportunity.
The cancellation of events and activities gives us the opportunity to spend more time at home, and as we spend more time at home, we have the opportunity to renew faith practices in our home. The church building should not be the only place that we pray or worship God or read scripture. These things should be done daily with our own household. Right now we have the chance to renew these practices.
The gathering of the congregation has been suspended, but that does not mean that the church is suspended. The church is the believers gathered around word and sacrament—the believers in whatever location and circum-stance they happen to be in. In a way, each home is its own little gathering of Christians.
During Holy Week we will not be at the church building to have all the meaningful services and traditions. Nonetheless, you should still observe Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Included with this mail-ing are some suggestions for ways to observe these holy days in your own home. These are things that you could do whether we gather as a congregation or not, so maybe you can start some new family traditions.
Maybe after this is all over, we will find that this was actually a time to increase our devotion to God. Maybe we will break some old habits, form some new ones, and be renewed in our faith.
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Scott C. Egbers