Our wonderful, generous, caring church family,
I may be at the top of the list of those who are deeply missing the fellowship with the Soul Cafe family. I suspect, however, that there are others of you who are feeling the same way. Our relationships with one another are like sustenance. Our best friends are nourishment for our soul. If you think going without food is uncomfortable try going without your friends. Bottom line is: We joyously need one another. Especially right now.
I want to send out this brief message as the first of many that has behind it the hope that it helps us connect up with one another in a safe but sustaining way.
First, let’s get on the same page. None of us has the complete picture of what is going on right now. There is an overload of information about this virus, much of which is partial and incorrect, so much so, that we don’t know what to believe or where to turn for the truth. That uncertainty is a place where panic and fear can begin to manipulate our decision making. We just don’t make our best decisions there.
At a practical level, here are some decisions that we are making for our Soul Cafe family. We are going to postpone Sunday worship services until the greatest danger of contagion is over. God will give us the wisdom to know when that will be. There will be no Wednesday evening services. Our encouragement is that we err on the side of caution for the sake of others. Now some of you brave hearts would charge hell with a water gun. And you’re not afraid of getting the virus at all. However, I’ll bet you feel differently about giving the virus to someone else. It would break your heart. So just know we are not canceling services to protect you brave ones, we are canceling services to protect everyone else. (My real desire would be to get a bunch of us he-men together so, in solidarity, we could shake out fists in the face of the old devil.)
So if there is any objective in this first of a series of communications it is that we listen to what God wishes to say to us. I encourage you to amplify and expand. Here is what Jesus says God is like:
God is LOVE. In hundreds of ways Jesus reminds us that God is like a Father who longs for a wayward son to come home. Or like a good shepherd with ninety nine sheep safely in the corral, risk life and limb to claw through the darkness of night to look for the one that is lost. That is what God is like. Even in pandemics God is still in love with you.
God is at Work. There is no moment in which God is not working on your behalf. “For we know that in all things God is at work for the good of those who love him and called to be a part of his purpose.” (Romans 8: 28)
God calls us to participate in extending his love. That is where we are right now. I can’t think of a time in which there is more need to express God’s love to others than right now.
God’s love wins. If there is an absolute power and ultimate power, it is the stamina of God’s love. There is a confidence stirring in me that assures me we are going to make it through this. Together.
So even at some “social distance” I want many of you to help keep us in helping us lovingly connect up with one another in meeting whatever needs arise. Already your creativity is rising up out of the confusion in ways that amaze me.
The next communication will start putting us together in ways that will sustain us.
This is my Father’s world. We are in His loving hands.
Grace and Peace,