July 7, 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We read in James 5:7,11
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”
How is your spiritual endurance these days? During these summer months, children often dive down in the pool water to retrieve a dive stick or toy. At first, it seems difficult to hold one’s breath long enough to go all the way to the bottom and back up. With time, however, it becomes easier and easier, so that the child can stay down and get two or three objects at a time. Endurance has been built up.
We’ve entered the summer months now, and it’s been 5 months since we’ve become aware of the Covid-19 virus in our communities. The heat hasn’t seemed to slow it down. We’ve endured some periods of time when we haven’t been able to meet regularly in God’s house. Maybe you’re asking yourself, how much longer will it be before we feel safe to go about life like we did before? Only God knows the answer to that question.
For the Christian, though, we do know that what the Lord “intends” in our lives is always full of His compassion and mercy. We can be assured that the “intended end” is always good, both now and eternally, through Christ! We can’t wait for the coming of the Lord, of course, but learn to be patient in the meantime.
Like Job, any testing in our lives produces patience and endurance, which is a good thing. Maybe it hasn’t been easy at first as we dive down through the waters of this Covid-19 test, but God is making our faith stronger in our reliance on Him! He’s giving us endurance. So, hang in there, being strengthened by His word daily. Remember His yoke that He gives us is light and our Lord is gentle! (Matthew 11:28-30)
In the regular monthly elders meeting this morning, it was agreed to continue receiving God’s word through electronic means for the next 30 days through the church website. Other sister churches like St. Paul in McAllen and Harlingen will be doing the same. When you visit the church website, Lutheranmercedes.com (just click on this link), I encourage you to read the Lutheran Hour daily devotions on the church homepage along with your Portals of Prayer.
Tentatively, we plan to resume worship services on August the 9th . In the interim, the Lord’s supper can be received either at the church or at a member’s home, whichever is more comfortable and convenient. A time can be scheduled by calling Pastor Weber at 956-463-1305.
Chapter 5 of James concludes with a call to much prayer by all. One of the verses that stands out is verse 16. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Together we pray that God would remove this virus, keep God’s family safe, and give us much endurance and patience. The Lord is merciful!
During these trying times, we pray that God would give each of us a lot of love and patience for each other!
When we gather together again in God's house:
You are kindly requested to: