Pastoral Letter Regarding COVID-19
Dear Westminster family and friends,
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” –Psalm 56:3
I’m sure I had read this verse plenty of times, but it was not until I sang a little song based on this verse with a bunch of preschoolers that the truth it conveys hit me. Little children often have fears. They can be scared of the dark, of the ‘monster’ in the closet, and many other things beside. As I sat on a tiny chair and sang that song with these children I started to think about my fears. What things made me afraid? Truth be told, most of my fears are imagined…I fear scenarios that will likely never occur. And that is the trouble with fear; it plays on your mind. So what is the remedy for fear? David tells us here that when we have been infected with the virus of fear, the medication we need is to put our trust in God.
That is easier said than done, isn’t it? And yet that it what we must do. For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). God’s Spirit dwells within you and he is ever-present with you. Remembering these truths is part of what it means to trust in the Lord. When we are afraid we must go back to the sure and steady promises of Almighty God revealed to us in Scripture. God’s Word gives us hope, security, confidence, and peace. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Many of us are anxious and fearful of a new virus that is rapidly spreading across our world. One reason for the fear generated by COVID-19, or coronavirus, is that there is so much we don’t know about it. What we do know is that this tiny virus, and every other molecule in the universe, is under the control and direction of our sovereign God. Dear believer, remember that our God rules over wind and waves, he makes kings and kingdoms rise and fall, and the tiniest of organisms are subject to his command. At times like this, it is important to remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling…the LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Ps. 46:1-3, 11).
What does this mean for the life and ministry of WPC for the next several weeks? That’s a good question. Let me assure you that your session has met to pray for wisdom from the Lord. We are taking this matter very seriously while also remaining calm and not giving into panic. We have been compliant with all the guidelines recommended by our governing authorities and we are seeking to follow best practices to ensure, as best we can, the health and safety of all our members and visitors. We will meet again this week to discuss a plan of action regarding worship services and other ministries of the church. Please remain patient with us as we try and determine what is in the best interest of both our spiritual and physical well-being. As you know, this is a fluid situation. We will do our best to communicate any changes to you in a timely manner. You can check our website (www.wpc-pca.com) for updates. If you have any pastoral need during this time please feel free to reach out to your shepherding elder.
I want to assure you that we are praying for you during these difficult and confusing times. Let me encourage you to pray for us. Pray that God would grant us wisdom. Also pray for the Lord to be pleased to stop the spread of this virus and to eliminate it altogether. And finally, remember that as Christians we have a remarkable opportunity to minister to those in need. Let us be prepared to share the love, hope, peace, and joy that can be found in Christ alone with those around us who are overwhelmed and filled with worry. May we use every opportunity that we have to point people to the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus to meet their every need and to calm their every fear.
Your Pastor & Friend,
More in FROM THE HALLS OF WESTMINSTER
July 3, 2020Re-Starting (Again!)
June 26, 2020Temporary Suspension of In-Person Worship Services
May 18, 2020Reconvening for Worship