Dear Grace Family,
Yesterday marked a historic day in the life of our church. For the first time in over 50 years, the doors were closed and locked at 2900 Sycamore Drive on a Sunday morning. A few of our staff and elders were there to greet anyone who may not have received the news, but we were met with deafening silence from our normally bustling campus. We each left in hopeful reluctance, knowing that none of us planned this, we know God is in this, and we DO NOT LIKE not being together. But we also know this season, this set of circumstances, and this present crisis will pass, and it ignites our hearts to know that we will be able to be united as a family once again, and we pray that day comes quickly.
A few observations from our time of worshipping together but separate:
- We want to redeem the time God has given us – We each have opportunities to make the most of this unique time God has afforded us. Some will be working from home, some will have tenuous job situations, while others may be working more. Everyone with kids at home are adjusting to a new ‘normal’, re-scheduling on the fly. But each of us want to walk wisely, making the best use of the time, since the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16). God allows us to thrive, mature, and be effective in any and every circumstance, even in this unprecedented one.
- We want to revel in the fact we can worship God anywhere – Jesus reminded the woman at the well that worship takes place in spirit and truth, not simply in one location (John 4:23). Though we cannot gather as a church, we can worship. The Bakker family enjoyed a time of singing, prayer, and discussion through Ephesians 5 together. I hope families are taking advantage of the time to worship together, and those without families are able to know the nearness of God and satisfaction of Christ in a fresh way.
- We sure miss meeting together – We will work hard to make sure the resources we give are helpful, that we communicate proactively, and that we still care for one another, but nothing beats the interpersonal love that we share together on a regular basis. For me, these days have given much by the way of opportunity, but they cannot fill the void of being with each of you. So as we wait expectantly for Christ’s return where we will BE with Him forever, we wait expectantly to be back together again. And oh, what a day that will be.
Love you, Grace family. Let’s continue to walk wisely, take advantage of the time, and live out the realities of the Lord’s will each day. May Christ be exalted and God glorified in all of this.
Pastor Jordan Bakker