“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2)
As you know there is a deadly virus that has spread across the world to the point that we are now under a “stay at home” quarantine order for the entire state of Oregon. Other states have similar lock downs in place and many congregations are prohibited from gathering as assemblies by state order for fear of spreading the virus.
The reason quarantines are in place is because the world now recognizes that it stops the spread of a contagion from passing from one person to the next. This should be no surprise to us as Bible students because it was God who issued the first instructions of a quarantine in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14. The world is practicing the same principle of quarantine God instructed over 3,000 yrs ago –– simply because it works.
Even those who were exposed were restricted from observing the passover feast until the following month (Numbers 9:6-11). Some have already been in self-quarantine due to susceptibility or possible exposure situations. The good news is that currently none of our congregation have been found to be infected.
The state of Oregon has issued a stay at home order restricting assemblies until it is safe, in order to save lives. The men of the congregation were unanimous in the decision to postpone worship services and classes at the building, in order for everyone to worship from home, until the order is lifted or circumstances improve to allow assembly. This is not a government oppression of faith because it is an order enforced on all citizens, not just churches. It is unfortunate but necessary since one person could infect the entire congregation, which would force everyone to stay home regardless, but under much worse circumstances. This is the very reason God gave instructions for quarantine to Israel in the Old Testament.
This Sunday will not be the same because we are unable to assemble together to worship and praise God together. However, God knows the heart, and we will each be able to worship from home, separated by distance but together in spirit. I will post a new sermon for each Sunday at: jstchurchofchrist.com under the sermon section of the website. I will continue working at the church building to prepare Bible class lessons and sermons.
We are all in this together. Get your directories out and remember to phone, text, email or write to encourage one another. Spread the word if anyone needs any help. Please pray for one another, for those infected, for families affected and for the nation and the Church the world over.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)