Call to Worship
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
The church leaders have been discussing the current pandemic and we have been wondering how to handle this wisely as a community and we are taking preventative steps to protect our members, while following the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). On Thursday, the CDC gave specific guidelines for Santa Clara which can be found on their website and I have attached the guideline for Santa Clara to this email.
Earlier today you received a message stating that we will be holding service live on our youtube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-9WL5gpwlMWTVJFW1PURdA or you can our youtube page find a link from our church's website https://www.newlifenorcal.org/ The session will be having a meeting tonight to figure out the details for our online worship so you can expect another email once things are decided. But please do pray that we will do whatever we do ultimately for the glory of our God.
At the same time I want to remind people that we are to deal with this current situation with faith and as one body and not with fear or panic. In the history of the church since the time of the Apostles, the church always grew stronger and more resilient with every persecution and challenge it faced. I know that the church will continue to be strengthened during our current events, not because we are faithful, nor because we are vigilant, but ultimately because our God is faithful and he loves his bride the church.
I believe it would be good for us to be united in reading God's word together, to be united in spirit and truth. I chose passages from the Gospel of Mark to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and lead up to Easter Sunday April 12th. We will start from Mark 11 this week and read one chapter a week until Easter Sunday. Please read Mark 11 this week and we will read Mark 12 next week. I encourage families to read together.
When you look at the four gospels in Scripture, commentators describe the gospels as passion narratives with lengthy introductions. The reason for this is that the first three years of Jesus' ministry are covered relatively quickly but in each gospel the last week of Jesus' life here on earth the four gospels slow down and much more detail is given. Matthew has 28 chapters and 8 chapters are for the last week of Jesus' life. Mark has 16 chapters and 6 are devoted to the passion week; Luke 24 chapters and 5 1/2; John 21 chapters and 9 1/2. One thing we should gain from this is that when we focus on the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection we too should learn to slow down and reflect deeply.
So I want to encourage you and this is because our God is in complete control, especially when we are reminded that nothing was ever really in our control. Please remember that God turns his face towards us and we are to turn our face towards him. One way we should be challenged to do this is to wash not only our hands (please wash your hands) but to cleanse our hearts. We are not to be double minded but with single hearted devotion we are to draw near to God and he will draw near to us (James 4:8-10).
Even though it will be very odd to meet separately online, let's take this challenge as an opportunity to seek our God wherever we are and call upon his name together. God calls his people to worship him: let us answer in faith.
Grace and peace,