We are excited to meet together in-person again. It may take some time to get back to where things were before, but the Elders appreciate everyone’s cooperation, patience, and willingness to prefer others, especially during this time. Please review the guidelines of Central Church’s Re-Opening Playbook on Central Church Facebook Page. The Elders will re-evaluate these guidelines and will update as needed. 

 

 

Unchanged

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Isn’t it amazing how things can change very quickly. Take Michigan spring weather for example> The morning may start out with frost on the windshield and overcast but end sunny and warm.

Most people reading this article can also say that their lives have changed since Covid 19. It seems the entire world has been turned upside down in a matter of weeks. Many have been laid off work. Schools have been canceled, marriages postponed, graduation ceremonies put on hold and social and religious gatherings are frowned upon. Goodness gracious, we even have a new vocabulary word to throw around. One month ago, who would have ever use the term, “social distance”? Everyone knows and practices social distancing now. I can’t remember the last time I shook someone’s hand. Yes, each of our lives have been changed and transformed by this tiny but deadly virus.

One of the changes that we are adjusting to is how we do church. We now live stream our worship and sermons at 10 AM on Sundays. The congregation is watching the service at home. Praise God for modern technology!

As I write this article, Easter is a little over 3 weeks away. Think about that. The most cherished and important Sunday in all of Christendom is Easter. And most church doors around the world may be shuttered! Has anything like this happened before?

As unprecedented as this is, the most unprecedented event in all of history was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection changed everything for every generation, that has ever lived.

The importance of the cross and the empty tomb is stated in I Corinthians 15:3-4. It says “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also receive: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with scripture that he was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” What does this scripture mean? What does it mean for you?

1. That means you can experience hope that relieves your doubts. In Matthew 28:5-8, we are told Mary Magdalen and the other Mary went to the tomb. It was empty! They saw an angel. They were initially terrified but were told that Jesus was raised from the dead and, given certain instructions. They left with a great joy and hope. Christians can experience that same hope and joy in the present. When others are ringing their hands in anguish about this virus, our hope in Christ can relieve our doubts and fears. We understand that all things are under His control and He gives us courage that conquers our fears.

2. Because Jesus was raised from the dead that means: You can receive life that overcomes death. I Peter 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in Heaven for you.”

We serve a living God who rose from the grave and who promises eternal life to all those who believe in Him. His power transcends life, death, heaven, hell, and the Covid 19 virus. He doesn't slumber or sleep. When other gods weaken and shrink, His power remains intact. Many of today's gods are on a forced vacation. The god of sport has been canceled or put on hold. The god of entertainment is relegated to reruns. Hollywood, Disney World, the casinos are all shut down. The god of mammon is being drained of power and prestige. Wall Street has lost nearly 20% in the last month.

In the present crisis we can better see and understand what truly is important and what is fluff. When all other gods wither and crumble under the weight of sickness and the harsh realities of life, Christ stands strong. In all the changes taking place around us, there is one who changes not. That one is Jesus. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

As we place our trust and hope in Christ, He will shepherd us through this crisis. May the blessing of the Lord and the power of His resurrection by yours and your families in the weeks ahead.

Pastor Dan