I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger. Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.
A week ago, in our local area, children remained at home for what will be quite an extended “Spring Break.” This wasn’t due to cold weather or a snowstorm, but to Covid-19, the novel virus which is spreading infection and fear across the world and our nation.
A week ago, I spent most of the day trying to make sense of the Governor’s gathering limit of no more than 50 people and what it would mean for worship. After communicating with our congregation’s leadership and area WELS pastors, the decision was made to cancel all worship services for the time being. (The Governor’s directive the following day to limit gatherings to no more than 10, sealed the deal.)
A week ago, Trinity held its last worship service (Monday eve) for the foreseeable future. About half the usual number of worshipers attended.
A week ago, we were at the leading edge of so many changes, changes which still seem to come by the hour. So much has changed…for now. How long will they last? What will life look like when this crisis recedes?
It’s easy to be afraid when our focus is on the things that cause fear and fright, like Peter looking at the wind and waves when walking on water. Far better to focus on our Lord, who has not and will not ever change. Here are a few promises of his that have not changed:
- God will work everything out for my good, specifically, for those who love him – that’s you and me, by grace. (Romans 8:28)
- God will never let me be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- God will take care of me no matter what. (Matthew 6:31-34)
- God has given me eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
- God will hear and answer my prayers. (John 16:23)
- God forgives any and every sin for Jesus’ sake. (1 John 1:7)
- God considers me his dearly loved child. (1 John 3:1)
- God is more important and “bigger” than me or anyone/anything else. (2 Corinthians 10:17,18)
A Scripture that highlights God’s relentless love and mercy:
“Nevertheless, I keep this in my heart. This is the reason I have hope: By the mercies of the Lord we are not consumed, for his compassions do not fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. My soul says, “The Lord is my portion. Therefore, I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good to hope quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:21-26 EHV)
Here’s a prayer for the end of the day – Luther’s Evening Prayer (use this every evening; memorize it!)
I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day. Forgive me all my sins, and graciously keep me this night. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.
God is with you,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand