From The Pastor,

As we begin to worship together we are able to be strengthened and renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit while being in the same physical location. Does this mean that our worship during the time when we could participate only through the media didn’t mean anything? Of course not! Whether we are gathering in the same space or are separated by necessity, we are all one family of God. This is especially important to remember because we gather on the Sabbath not only with our brothers and sisters in the Sioux City area but we are also gathered together with all believers around the world.
Martin Luther’s explanation of the Third Commandment (“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy”) : “What does this mean? We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise God’s Word or preaching, but instead keep that Word holy and gladly hear and learn it.
This is most certainly true.” This is the basis on which we build our faith lives. It is a foundation of Christian churches around the world. The physical surroundings aren’t what define us. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the common thread which weaves us into one body – the body of believers.
We celebrate our unity even as we acknowledge our diversity. That’s the best part of our life together! God created each of us uniquely. There is no one on earth exactly like you! We each have differing talents, physical traits, and ways in which we process thoughts and emotions. There is not one way that is right and another that is wrong. Our challenge is to allow someone whose viewpoint is different than ours the respect and space to express their opinion – while we respond with respect. As God’s people we are called to “keep that Word holy and gladly hear and learn it”. When we do so deliberately we grow more deeply in our individual and communal lives.
The point I am attempting to make is that the space in which we hear God’s Word may be different but the goal is unchanging. As God’s people we are called to allow God’s Word to bind us together in ways that are mysterious but also exciting as we follow where God leads us.
May you be filled with God’s grace daily,
Pastor Jane