Pastor Letter: March 17, 2020

Dear Buck Run:

Never has a church family been more important than right now. Though we are unable to meet in person, we are completely capable of meeting in many different ways. Through Facebook, the Buck Run app, Zoom meetings, social media, phone calls, and texts we can keep up with each other and remind ourselves that far from being alone, we are the body of Christ and members in particular (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

I do not know how long the current restrictions will keep us from meeting together in our building. Every day new information and guidelines are emerging and I dare not project very far into the future. Here is what I know: we are getting through this and we are going to do this well. The strong bonds that bind us to Christ and to one another are not merely emotional or societal. We really are the body of Christ. We each still have things to do to serve the body.

Our goal is not merely to get through this—though we will. The task before us is to find new and creative ways to minister to one another while still reaching a lost and fearful world with the saving and comforting Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though we have to practice physical social distancing, we must find ways to be more socially connected spiritually and emotionally than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic reminds of several things. First, we live in a fallen and broken world that is fragile and all of our systems and our sense of self-sufficiency can be upended very quickly. If our confidence is in anything other than Christ, sooner or later, we will be shaken. On the other hand, when we realize that this world is not home, that we are strangers and exiles here and we are looking for the city that has unshakeable foundations, whose builder and maker is God, we won’t be so terrified by the economic and social upheaval around us. Second, we are not in control and we never were. God is. In this current crisis, I believe God is calling the world to cry out to Him. We, as God’s people, should be praying daily for God to show Himself mighty as well as merciful in this situation. Pray that the Lord would use this for His eternal purposes. He is not surprised, disturbed, or nervous. He is working all things toward His ultimate glory, and we rest in that. Third, the serious nature of this disease reminds us that people need the Gospel. Don’t forget to pray for your ONE! If possible, call or connect with them through phone or online. Perhaps you will have a greater opportunity to share Jesus with your ONE than you have ever had. Pursue that opportunity.

Finally, if we do this well, Buck Run will emerge stronger, more oriented toward others, more focused on the Gospel, and more in love with Jesus than ever before. Let’s each find ways to serve others, especially our most vulnerable and hurting members. Many of our people are going to face a true crisis as they are without jobs and income. Who and how can you help? Single moms, singles, widows, people with already-complicated health issues, parents in need of child care, elderly members and many other groups are going to need help. How can we, the church, take up the slack and show the love of Christ?

The other pastors and I plan to do everything in our power to stay connected to you and to communicate on a regular basis. Look for videos, Facebook Live events, text messages, calls, and emails. Do not hesitate to let us know your needs and how we can best serve you. We can’t do everything, but we can do a lot, even while following the health guidelines we have been given.

I love you, precious church family. I can’t say it enough. Though I hate the circumstances we find ourselves in and the suffering we see all around us, I am grateful that we are going through this together. Let’s do this well for the glory of God.

God is love. Jesus is wonderful. The Spirit is our Comforter.

Bro. Hershael