The Pastor’s Piece – June 21, 2020
Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
June 21, 2020
I always thought it odd that Cap’n Crunch is made by Quaker Oats – a cereal commanded by a military officer made by an avowedly non-combatant community of oats.
Since last March I’ve been reading something along these lines: “Due to COVID 19 we will not __________(fill in the blank of the event that has been cancelled). We have read warnings of what will happen if we step out of our homes without wearing the proper personal protection equipment. One of my least favorite modern day warnings to the churches in this area is the example of a church in Arkansas where 35 people came down with the virus and people say that this “potentially” could lead to mass infection and death in our local churches as well. But it seems the word “potentially” has become a scare word. In reality, every time you step out your door you potentially open yourself up to danger. The fact is, you are potentially in danger even without leaving your home (carbon monoxide, stairs, fire, and other hazards are ever-present). According to the ADRC, something as benign as a throw rug could lead to serious injury among the elderly.
We live in a fallen world where danger lurks everywhere. These COVID warnings are supposed to be non-bias and non-political. However, in our present political state, it is practically impossible to determine fact from opinion. What I know is that there have been zero COVID 19 deaths so far in Lafayette County (population: 16,665), and Green County has had one death attributed to the virus (population 39,600). That means that as of now, if you live in Green County, Wisconsin you have a .000025 chance of dying from COVID 19. Stephenson County, Illinois has a population of 44,498. As of June 1, 2020 there have been 5 deaths attributed to COVID 19. That calculates to .00011 chance of dying from the virus. Jo Davies County, population 21,366 – so far one death has been attributed to the Coronavirus.
At Martintown Community Church, we have chosen to address this issue in three ways: 1) We believe faith in the Sovereignty of God should rule our lives. Faith will not give way to fear. We know that the virus will not determine the number of our days, but rather, God will make that determination. That is very clear in His Word. 2) Since we want to be sensitive to the concerns of others, we have made available both inside and outside church. We feel the family is the authority that should make the decision on whether they will isolate or mingle. At MCC you can come inside the church building to worship or stay in your vehicles and listen on your car radio. (We will soon have an outdoor screen in place for those who prefer to stay in their car). Some choose social distancing, others choose not to. (Some even choose to bring their dog to church with them – which is awesome). We respect both preferences. 3) We continue to stream the services live on Facebook and live to our parking lot.
When the governor of Wisconsin put his Shelter in Place plan into effect, we followed it. We followed it because we wanted to respect those who are in authority over us like the Bible instructs us to. Although we had some hesitations, we obliged. When the Wisconsin Supreme Court lifted the restrictions, we were happy to lift ours as well. If we are going to respect one order, we are justified in respecting the other.
Every year at this time, Martintown Community Church hosts its annual week of Vacation Bible School. By the time you read this, we will have wrapped up a week of Bible lessons, crafts, games, and snacks. Our leaders will be exhausted and the children will be energized. All the planning and preparation and work that has gone into it will now be put into play. Imagine 40 or 50 years from now, a Godly Christian leader somewhere in the world, stands up in their church and says: “I committed my life to Jesus Christ as a child while attending Vacation Bible School at Martintown Community Church!” Now that’s potential.
Luke 18:17: “ Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”