AN UPDATE ON RE-GATHERING
It has been 9 weeks since we gathered at the Redemption Hill Church building for Sunday morning worship. As a church family, we have obeyed the teaching of Scripture in Romans 13: 1-2: "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from GOD, and the authorities that exist are appointed by GOD. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of GOD, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves." In verse 1, the word "submit" is spelled upotassestho in Koine Greek. Properly parsed, it is 3rd person singular (referring to every Christian). It is durative present tense (at all times). It is imperative mood (It is a specific command that must be obeyed). It is middle voice (every Christian himself/herself makes this choice to obey for himself/herself only).
We have also submitted to the government in response to the second great commandment: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39) We certainly did not potentially want to expose our members and attenders to the corona virus, and we also did not potentially want to expose members of our community to the virus.
We also submitted to the government because we wanted to be a positive witness to the world. We desired to show our concern for the well-being of the citizens of our community. When the crisis first broke out, several churches remained open that first Sunday and received a firestorm of criticism from their communities. These churches immediately discontinued meeting publicly.
Yet, now we find various businesses and organizations being allowed to resume services, which are deemed "essential." Driving down Platte Avenue yesterday to participate in the live stream at our church building, I passed the site of the Colorado Springs Flea Market. I was shocked to see it was open for business. I was surprised so many people had gathered. No offense. But I do not believe the purpose of the flea market to be deemed "essential."
I contacted the executive director of our state convention, Dr. Nathan Lorick, yesterday afternoon to register my concerns and to find out what I - we - could do to reopen our church buildings. Dr. Lorick, the leader of our convention of 400+ churches, is contacting the governor's office to tell him we are ready to open up again as an "essential" business. So I can assure you we are working behind the scenes in a CHRIST-like way to make it happen.
Personally, I am optimistic our church family can re-gather soon. I will definitely keep you updated. I also request you remember the leadership in our church in prayer as we seek to "navigate" our church family through these challenging times.