The pastor says, “The Lord be with you” and the congregation responds “and also with you.” These are imparting words. What I mean is that they are not just a casual greeting. They are words spoken by people who take seriously Christ’s promise, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” The salutation is not just a way to greet the person next to you in the pew. It is holding Christ to his promise. It is a recognition of Christ in our midst. It is an acknowledgment that we are a people who have been gathered by the Good Shepherd into the safety and security of an eternal fellowship.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, our fellowship is created and sustained not by our close proximity to one another. Neither does our fellowship require four walls. We have been called and gathered by the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God. We are united in Christ by baptism. When we partake of the Lord’s body and blood we share a table with every Christian not just those who are present in the same room with us.
d not starve ourselves physically out of fear of the coronavirus, we will not starve ourselves of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
We are going to cancel this Sunday’s gathering for worship at Concordia. Everything that would normally be provided will be made available except for the company of one another. At this time, we are being told that the best way to make “short business” of this virus is by not gathering. Sunday’s sermon will be recorded and made available electronically in as many different ways as possible. Hard copies of the sermon and a worship folder, will be available for you if you would like to stop by the Church from 9:00am to 11:00am on Sunday morning. We will meet you at your car if you would like.
We were not scheduled to provide communion this Sunday. Pastor Wiist, the elders, the president of the congregation, and the head of the board of lay ministry will be meeting early next week to discuss the best way to make communion available, whether that means having worship on March 29th or providing some other means. One way or another, communion will be offered at the regularly assigned times.
Our Church building will remain open and Pastor Wiist will continue to have regular office hours. He will also be available to make home visits should you have an emergency that requires spiritual care. His cell phone # is 812-461-8171. Do not hesitate to call.
Keep your eyes open for future announcements and please be patient with us as we make difficult decisions. Our goal has not changed. Our mission remains the same: “Together we reach out and strengthen with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Lord, grant us wisdom, strength, and compassion. Amen.
Rev. David Wiist