Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
March 18, 2020
Hello, Crossroads Family!
In these turbulent days, I want you to know how special each of you is to the Lord, to me, and to the big family we call Crossroads. Many of us are facing the normal, day-to-day challenges of life ; on top of that is the uncertainty around us brought on by the COVID-19 virus, and, in addition, concern for our loved ones wherever they may be. More than ever, it’s important that we stay in touch with each other and that we support each other through prayer and through practical gifts of care and service.
By now you should know that there will be no worship service this Sunday morning at the Osage Prairie YMCA. The Y is closed in an effort to help keep our community healthy.
Instead of a gathering at the Y, there will be a sermon and abbreviated time of worship available by live-stream on the Crossroads Facebook page this Sunday morning at 10:00. I hope you will join us there as we continue to work through a series of sermons on the last days of Jesus on the earth. This Sunday we’ll be in Matthew 27:57-68 which is Matthew’s record of Jesus’ trial. It’s a powerful account, and we want to ask ourselves what bearing this great trial has on our lives today. Who were the accusers? What were the charges? Why the verdict? Was the sentencing appropriate? What about the observers? What does it mean for you and me that the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God (all titles used of Jesus in this passage) was tried and sentenced to die?
If you are not able to get on Facebook, or if you do not have internet access, please let me know, or please let someone else from the church know your need. We will make sure you can be with some others who are watching Sunday morning.
Facebook Live-stream of worship and sermon this Sunday morning, 10:00. No meeting at the Y.
My home is open this Friday for drop-by prayer, if you would like to stop by to pray or visit. My new address is 628 W. Arch Street, and I’ll be available 11:00-1:00, and again 4:00-6:00. I would love to pray with you, for you, for our church, community, and world.
Home Group is scheduled for next Wednesday evening, March 25, 6:30-8:00. We will let you know later this week whether or not Home Group will be held as scheduled.
Baptism. We’re hopeful we can still have a baptism, as planned, on Sunday, April 5; however, at this time we can’t be sure. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in baptism, please let me know! Thank you!
Thanks to those who provided a meal and also prayer support for Ethel Voigt following her recent surgery. Ethel and Charlie and family are truly grateful for the kindness shown them! Let’s continue to pray for those at Crossroads with health-related needs – Ethel, Joe, Heather, others.
We recognize that during this slow-down period some in our church family may experience financial challenges. If you have a special need, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Cris, Dave, Shane, or myself. Also, if you wish to continue to give your tithe and offerings regularly during this period of time in which we’re not meeting at the Y, please feel free to mail your gift to Crossroads Church, P.O. Box 23, Nevada MO 64772.
Understanding What’s Going On
I happened to be reading through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes last week. (Ecclesiastes is the little book that follows Psalms and Proverbs. I encourage you to read it!)
Ecclesiastes can seem like a little bit of a downer at times because it gives something of the natural person’s perspective on life. “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!” is a familiar statement from Ecclesiastes 1:2. “There is nothing new under the sun” is another statement made that we still use today (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Yet, the book helps us, too, in that it’s a realistic take on life on the earth.
Toward the end of the book is this verse that kind of raises an eyebrow: “When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth … and when I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun” (Eccl 8:16-17).
That verse seems to me to speak of people’s ultimate inability to fully understand God’s ways. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we just don’t understand what God is doing or has done! I’ve found that to be personally true at a number of junctures in my life. And it feels true now, too, during this Coronavirus pandemic. What’s going on? What is God doing … or what is He allowing to be done?
Even though we may not understand fully what God is doing in the world, we nevertheless have the assurance that He is fully in control of all of the events in the world and in our personal lives. He has outlined His plan for the world and for human life in the Bible. The Lord Jesus Himself gave a detailed outline of the world’s future in a sermon we recently studied on a Sunday morning (Matthew 24-25).
It’s interesting that the coming period of “Tribulation” upon the earth (which we read about in Matthew 24-25, and in Revelation 6-19) includes pestilence upon the earth.
“I looked and behold an ashen horse ; and he who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence …” Revelation 6:7-8
Perhaps the coming events of this Tribulation judgment period are already casting their shadow ahead of them.
We also read concerning those coming days that God will send upon the earth a deluding influence so that people “will believe what is false” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Again, is it possible that those days which God has promised will come upon the earth are actually coming soon, … and are already casting a shadow?
Thankfully, if you’re trusting in Jesus as Savior of your life, you have a blessed hope which is that He is coming to rescue you and me from judgment! We are “looking for the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Jesus himself said, “I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
So, take courage! While we may not be able to fully wrap our minds around what’s happening in the world, we know the Lord is directing all events according to His perfect purposes, and for the ultimate good of all who believe in Him through faith in Christ!
— See you on the Internet this Sunday!