Pastor Andrew Hinderlie
Pastor’s Pondering for May 2020
Ministry in Present and Future Reality
As we head into this month of May there is still the uncertainty of when we will actually be able to begin worship services. I’d like to remind us all that worship whether in church or at home whether directly or indirectly using recorded services or live feed doesn’t change our relationship to God or being together in spirit. I am mindful, as I’m certain all of you are, of the fact that we have members of our congregation who are vulnerable, or at risk through this time and indeed as you read this you may be one of those. It is not for anyone to chose to put another at risk for their own self-interests and selfish desires. There maybe those outside our congregation who will challenge your faith as a Christian if you are not going to church. Therefore I want to share Paul’s writing in Romans 14:13 “therefore let us not judge one another anymore but rather determine this - not to put up an obstacle or stumbling block in a brothers way” which could also be a sister. Or in 1Corinthians 8:9 where he writes “be careful however that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” And Jesus says in Matthew 8:6 “if anyone causes one of these little ones those who believe in me to stumble it will be better for them to have a large millstone hung around her neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” In all these texts I believe that a stumbling block can be misplaced faith when used to guilt people into unsafe situations or quick decisions and unsafe planning.
Our decisions as to when we will restart actual and not simply virtual worship at Trinity nor any of the other activities is not a matter of lack of faith, as some may imply or even accuse us of having if we do not come back together now and worship during this time for that is simply the tempter causing us to questioning our faith. Rather it is in listening to Scripture, the Holy Spirit and acknowledging the wisdom that God that shows us the difference between church worship and faith. For we you know that wherever we are God is with us. We will at some point be back together in church as a community of faith but until then our faith is with us where we are and that faith it is through the Holy Spirit who rests with us and sustains us as Jesus promised. So if someone questions me my response will be: I have Jesus in my heart and God sustains me wherever I am, I’m sorry you only feel that way at your church. Full Stop.